Romo to Serve as Lead NFL Analyst for CBS

Tony Romo is leaving the football field, but he isn’t leaving the game…

Following the Dallas Cowboys’ officially release of the 36-year-old quarterback, the 4-time Pro Bowler who will become the lead NFL analyst for CBS, it was announced Tuesday.

Tony Romo

“It was a very difficult decision. I went back and forth a number of times,” said Romo in a conference call with ESPN.

Romo said the Houston Texans were at the top of his wish list if he kept playing, but the CBS offer was too good to pass up.

“It really had nothing to do with the Texans and everything to do with CBS,” Romo said. “I felt like it was the right decision. My wife would tell you we’ve had a lot of late nights. It was nice to have some clarity.”

But Romo hasn’t officially said he’s retiring.

“Do I envision playing football? Absolutely not,” he said. “Do I expect to get some calls? Yes, that’s the reality.”

One NFL executive told ESPN via text message that “Romo is now every team’s emergency backup QB in case your starter gets hurt” and that those teams would have to “pay him to come out of ‘retirement.'”

Romo said: “You never say never,” but added that “there’s no part of me that wants to play.”

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he wishes Romo and his family “nothing but the best.”

“As an organization, we did what he asked us to do in terms of his release, and we wanted to do what was ultimately in his best interest and in the best interest of his family,” Jones said in a statement.

“Tony has been a wonderful representative of the Cowboys organization for 14 years, and he left everything he had on the field. He will leave us with many great memories and a legacy of being, truly, one of the greatest players in Cowboys history. We are thrilled for him and his family that he will be able to continue working as a professional in the game he so dearly loves. He is a young man who is just getting started on a long journey in life. All the best my friend.”

With CBS, Romo will become the No. 1 color commentator — replacing former NFL quarterback Phil Simms — alongside play-by-play veteran Jim Nantz. He also had drawn interest from Fox and NBC.

“Going from one legendary team to another as I begin the next phase of my career is a dream come true,” Romo said in a statement. “I have always known that once my playing career was over I wanted to become a broadcaster. I am ecstatic for the opportunity to work with Jim as I learn the craft and convey to fans my passion for this great game.”

Romo said on the conference call that he expects his new broadcasting job to be difficult, but “I’ve got to attack this just like football.”

The Cowboys’ move to make Romo a post-June 1 release designation softens the blow against the salary cap this season. Instead of counting $24.7 million against the cap in 2017, Romo would count $10.7 million this year and $8.9 million in 2018. The Cowboys would gain $14 million in cap space this season, but it would not become available until June 2. The Cowboys will carry $19.6 million in dead money for the 2017 season, $8.9 million in 2018 and $3.2 million in 2019.

Romo’s decision came down to his health, sources close to the situation told ESPN. Romo, who turns 37 on April 21, believes his family and his health are paramount. He was limited to playing in parts of just five games over the past two seasons because of collarbone and back injuries, and he suffered a compression fracture in his back in August that led the way to Dak Prescott‘s emergence.

Prescott posted his thanks to Romo on Instagram.

Romo now will get to spend more time with his family while retaining a strong connection to the game.

As the network’s No. 1 color commentator for the NFL, Romo will work with Nantz on Sunday afternoon and Thursday evening games. He also will be in line to work CBS’s coverage of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta in February 2019.

Romo — a scratch golfer — also could wind up working on CBS’s golf coverage down the line, sources told ESPN, but he first wants to focus on football.

“Tony has been one of the NFL’s biggest stars for the past decade, and we are thrilled to welcome him to CBS Sports,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. “He will bring the same passion, enthusiasm and knowledge that he displayed on the field to the broadcast booth. He brings a fresh and insightful perspective to our viewers having just stepped off the field. We know Tony will quickly develop into a terrific analyst, and alongside Jim Nantz, will become a must-listen for fans each week.”

CBS said it was discussing future options for Simms, who served nearly 20 years as the network’s lead NFL analyst.

Romo stepping away from the game affects numerous NFL teams since the market for Romo was expected to be robust. Romo no longer will be a consideration for the Texans and Denver Broncos — unless he were to unexpectedly return from the broadcast booth to the playing field.

However, a source directly involved told ESPN’s Ed Werder, “He’s done. It’s over. This was a no-brainer.”

Romo is the Cowboys’ all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. He has a career record of 78-49 but never was able to get the Cowboys past the divisional round in four playoff appearances. His 34,183 passing yards and 248 touchdown passes are the most in team history. Romo also holds team records for 300-yard passing games (46), games with multiple touchdown passes (79) and consecutive games with a touchdown pass (38). In 2012, he threw for a club-record 4,903 yards, and on Oct. 6, 2013, against the Broncos, he threw for a franchise-record 506 yards. He has the NFL record with a touchdown pass in 41 straight road games.

“Tony Romo has a unique combination of athletic ability, arm talent, vision, and instincts for the game,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said in a statement. “What separates Tony from many other players, however, is a rare competitive spirit. Tony loves to play. Tony loves to compete. The best ones always do. In practice. During games. On the field. Off the field. Tony competes to the end in everything that he does. That relentless spirit that Tony plays with is contagious. He makes his teammates better. He makes his coaches better. He makes his team better.”

 

Gonzalez to Serve as “Legends Captain” at 2017 NFL Pro Bowl

Tony Gonzalez is making a legend(s)dary return to the National Football League

The NFL has announced that the 40-year-old part-Mexican American former NFL tight end will serve as one of four “Legends Captains” at the 2017 Pro Bowl.

Tony Gonzalez

“Some of my favorite NFL memories were from my Pro Bowl trips,” said Gonzalez, via NFL.com. “One thing that made my Pro Bowl experiences so special was getting to share them with my family. Pro Bowl Week in Orlando brings that to a whole new level, and I’m excited to be a part of this event that brings together the entire football community — players, coaches, families and fans — to celebrate the game’s best.”

After a three-year switch to a draft format, the Pro Bowl will return to the traditional AFC vs. NFC style for 2017.

Each conference will be led by two “Legends Captains” — one offensive and one defensive. Jerome Bettis (offense) and Ray Lewis (defense) will lead the AFC, while Gonzalez (offense) and Charles Woodson (defense) will lead the NFC.

During Pro Bowl Week, the four “Legends Captains” will serve as mentors for the Pro Bowl players, coach practices and be present on the sidelines on game day.

In his 12 seasons (1997-2008) with the Kansas City Chiefs, Gonzalez compiled 916 receptions for 10,940 yards receiving and 76 touchdowns. Gonzalez still holds Chiefs franchise records in each of the three categories. The 6x First-team All-pro then played for the Atlanta Falcons from 2009-2013.

Gonzalez appeared in 14 Pro Bowls during his 17-year NFL career and ranks as the all-time leader in Pro Bowl receptions (42) and touchdowns (6).

Vasquez: A First Time NFL Pro Bowl Selection

It’s an extra special National Football League first for Louis Vasquez

For the first time since joining the NFL four years ago, the 26-year-old Mexican American offensive guard has been selected for the 2014 Pro Bowl.

Louis Vasquez

Vasquez, currently playing for the Denver Broncos, was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the third round of the NFL Draft in 2009. He joined the Broncos in March 2013 as part of a four-year deal.

The NFL combined votes from coaches, players and fans to determine 85 of 87 Pro Bowl selects; the other two players are long-snappers selected by Pro Bowl coaches.

While there were 86 Pro Bowl spots to be voted on, there are 85 players because Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver/kick returner Antonio Brown filled two spots in the voting, which ended Thursday.

Under a new format this year, NFL legends Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will divvy up the players in a two-day draft before the Jan. 26 game. Offensive and defensive players with the most votes who don’t make it past the divisional playoff round will serve as active player captains.

The schoolyard-style selections mean it’s likely teammates will be forced to play on opposite sides. Players on the winning team will earn $53,000 while the losers will get $26,000 under the collective bargaining agreement.

The 2014 Pro Bowl will be played on January 26 at 7:00 pm ET in Honolulu.

Here’s a look at the 2014 Pro Bowl Selections:

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks
Tom Brady, Patriots
Drew Brees, Saints
Peyton Manning, Broncos
Cam Newton, Panthers
Philip Rivers, Chargers
Russell Wilson, Seahawks

Wide receivers
Antonio Brown, Steelers
Dez Bryant, Cowboys
Josh Gordon, Browns
A.J. Green, Bengals
Andre Johnson, Texans
Calvin Johnson, Lions
Brandon Marshall, Bears
Demaryius Thomas, Broncos

Tackles
Branden Albert, Chiefs
Jason Peters, Eagles
Tyron Smith, Cowboys
Joe Staley, 49ers
Joe Thomas, Browns
Trent Williams, Redskins

Guards
Jahri Evans, Saints
Ben Grubbs, Saints
Mike Iupati, 49ers
Logan Mankins, Patriots
Louis Vasquez, Broncos
Marshal Yanda, Ravens

Centers
Ryan Kalil, Panthers
Alex Mack, Browns
Mike Pouncey, Dolphins
Max Unger, Seahawks

Tight ends
Jordan Cameron, Browns
Vernon Davis, 49ers
Jimmy Graham, Saints
Julius Thomas, Broncos

Running backs
Jamaal Charles, Chiefs
Matt Forte, Bears
Frank Gore, 49ers
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
LeSean McCoy, Eagles
Adrian Peterson, Vikings

Fullbacks
Marcel Reece, Raiders
Mike Tolbert, Panthers

DEFENSE

Defensive ends
Greg Hardy, Panthers
Cameron Jordan, Saints
Robert Quinn, Rams
Cameron Wake, Dolphins
J.J. Watt, Texans
Mario Williams, Bills

Interior linemen
Gerald McCoy, Buccaneers
Haloti Ngata, Ravens
Dontari Poe, Chiefs
Justin Smith, 49ers
Ndamukong Suh, Lions
Kyle Williams, Bills

Outside linebackers
John Abraham, Cardinals
Ahmad Brooks, 49ers
Tamba Hali, Chiefs
Justin Houston, Chiefs
Robert Mathis, Colts
Terrell Suggs, Ravens

 

Inside and middle linebackers
NaVorro Bowman, 49ers
Vontaze Burfict, Bengals
Luke Kuechly, Panthers
Patrick Willis, 49ers

Cornerbacks
Brandon Flowers, Chiefs
Brent Grimes, Dolphins
Joe Haden, Browns
Patrick Peterson, Cardinals
Darrelle Revis, Buccaneers
Richard Sherman, Seahawks
Aqib Talib, Patriot’s
Alterraun Verner, Titans

Free safeties
Jairus Byrd, Bills
Earl Thomas, Seahawks
Eric Weddle, Chargers

Strong safeties
Eric Berry, Chiefs
Kam Chancellor, Seahawks
Troy Polamalu, Steelers

SPECIAL TEAMS

Punters
Brandon Fields, Dolphins
Johnny Hekker, Rams

Kickers
Matt Prater, Broncos
Justin Tucker, Ravens

Punt returners
Antonio Brown, Steelers
Dexter McCluster, Chiefs

Utility
Justin Bethel, Cardinals
Matthew Slater, Patriots

Gonzalez Returns to the Atlanta Falcons’ Training Camp

It really is Tony Gonzalez’s last chance…

The 38-year-old part-Mexican pro football star is officially back with the Atlanta Falcons for one last opportunity to win a Super Bowl ring.

Tony Gonzalez

After considering retirement and ultimately deciding this spring to return, the tight end returned to the team for training camp but left shortly afterward. Gonzalez had made a promise to his 12-year-old son, Nikko, to be with him as he started his youth football career, meaning he was away from the Falcons for much of training camp.

But Gonzalez is now back with the team again, joining his teammates on Sunday and preparing to play in the Falcons next preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.

“It’s time for me to get back there,” Gonzalez told Fox Sports. “I need to get some work with [quarterback] Matt [Ryan] and the offense. I’m excited.”

The Atlanta Falcons are closing their training camp on Sunday, but Tony Gonzalez is expected to get some work in before it closes.

Even though he’s approaching 40, Gonzalez still has a lot left in the tank. Last year he caught 93 passes for 930 yards and eight touchdowns, making the Pro Bowl for the 13th time.

His return gives the Falcons one of the most unstoppable receiving corps in the National Football League. Gonzalez remains a dangerous player with a knack for getting open.

For Tony Gonzalez, 2013 represents the last chance to win a Super Bowl. Until last season he had never won a playoff game, but this year the Falcons are a favorite of many NFL observers to win it all.

Gonzalez to Play One Final Season with the Falcons?

It looks like Tony Gonzalez isn’t about to ride off into the sunset just yet…

Despite hinting at retirement last season, the 37-year-old part-Mexican pro football star has reportedly changed his tune.

Tony Gonzalez

The reason? A $7 million contract and a reduced training camp schedule.

The Atlanta Falcons tight end, a 13-time Pro Bowl selection and 10-time All-Pro, has apparently told people he’ll be back for one more season with the Falcons, according to Fox Sports.

“I was done, I thought I had my mind made up,” Gonzalez told Fox Sports. “This whole year I knew it would be my last but the way our final game ended and talking to the guys in the locker room, in the end it was too difficult of a way for me to step away from the game.”

Gonzalez was in tears at the end of last season as his team lost in the NFC Championship game to the San Francisco 49ers.

Only one week before that heartbreaking loss, Gonzalez was part of his first playoff victory in his 17-year career.

Gonzalez was intent last season on focusing on his family. But he says he’s hoping to achieve the one thing that has eluded him in his career so far.

“I am coming back for one reason and one reason only,” he told Fox Sports. “The chance to win a Super Bowl.”

Cruz Earns First Pro Bowl Nomination…

He’s only been playing in the NFL for three years, but Victor Cruz has already reached a major career milestone…

The 26-year-old half-Puerto Rican New York Giants wide receiver has earned his first Pro Bowl nomination. Cruz will be joined by two of his teammates, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and guard Chris Snee.

Victor Cruz

“I’d like to thank all of you who voted for me for this years Pro Bowl. I’m honored to represent the New York Giants,” tweeted Cruz after learning he’d made the NFC reserve team.

Cruz, a second-team All-Pro selection in 2011 who held lead his team to victory at this year’s Super Bowl, holds the Giants franchise record for most receiving yards in a single season with 1,536.

But Cruz wasn’t the only Latino footballer to earn a Pro Bowl nomination…

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez was named to the NFC first team. It’s the 36-year-old part-Mexican American football star’s 13th Pro Bowl selection of his career.

Gonzalez is the Pro Bowl all-time leader in receptions (48) and touchdowns (6).

The 2013 Pro Bowl, the NFL’s all-star game for the 2012 season, will take place on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

Romo’s New Role… Dad!

Forget completing passes, avoiding sacks and leading America’s Team to victory… Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is preparing for the biggest challenge of his life… fatherhood!

Tony Romo and Candice Crawford Expecting First Child

During an appearance at a Dallas-area high school with teammate Miles Austin, a student asked the 31-year-old three-time Pro Bowl selection if he had children.

“Um, no, I don’t have any kids,” responded Romo, who married Candice Crawford this past Memorial Day weekend at a lavish ceremony in Dallas six months after proposing to the former beauty queen at her 24th birthday party. “I’ve actually got one on the way. My wife’s pregnant.”

As the students clapped, the Mexican-American football star smiled, raised his fist and said, “It’ll be fun.”

This will be the couple’s first child.

No due date was revealed.