Sunday marked four years since the end of the Tony Romo era in Dallas. On April 4, 2017, Romo officially traded in his pads and helmet for a mic and a spot in the broadcast booth with CBS.
Here is an overview of Romo’s football career and what he has done on CBS since.
An Unlikely Hero Comes to Dallas
After barely getting an invite to the NFL Combine in 2003, Romo went to Dallas as undrafted free agent. Fast forward to 2006, Romo initially started the season as a backup to former Dallas Cowboys QB Drew Bledsoe. Little did anyone know that he would become the starting QB in October 2006, and it would be the start of a new era in Dallas.
Cowboys’ Tony Romo Era
Although Tony was highly-criticized during his time with the Cowboys during his 11-year tenure, he set a handful of records across the NFL and with the Cowboys.
Romo was a four-time NFL Pro Bowler, has the highest QB rating in the fourth quarter and would have the most consecutive road games with at least one touchdown pass between 2009 and 2014. He finished his NFL career with a 97.1 passer rating, which was the fourth-best in NFL history.
During his career, he had 34,183 passing yards and 248 passing touchdowns. Romo broke plenty of Cowboys team records set by Dallas legends. He had 40 total games with at least three touchdown passes (beating out Danny White who had 20), 46 games with 300 passing yards (beating out Troy Aikman who had 13) and 28 fourth quarter comebacks (beating out Roger Staubach at 23).
Romo made four postseason appearances, but would never make it to the NFC Championship.
Hanging Up the Helmet
The 2016-17 NFL Season was the beginning of the end for Romo. He suffered a fracture in his back during a preseason game, which would open the door for his retirement. This injury ended up being the start of the stars aligning for the current Dallas Cowboys QB1, Dak Prescott.
Romo would miss more than half of the 2017 season because of this fracture. When it was time to make the decision for the starting QB position, former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett decided to “ride the hot hand” and keep his faith in Dak — a statement that still lives rent free in some Cowboys’ fans minds to this day.
“He’s earned the right to be our quarterback. As hard as that is for me to say, he’s earned that right,” said Romo during a press conference held after Garrett announced his decision. This nearly six-minute speech was seen as his retirement, well before it became official.
Romo didn’t officially called it a career until April 4, 2017 and was released from the Cowboys, as per his request.
Romo’s Broadcast Career with CBS
Romo announced the next step in his career shortly after the news broke about the end of the Tony Romo era in Dallas. He was no longer the starting QB of the Dallas Cowboys, but was now a lead color analyst for CBS’s NFL broadcasts. He signed a three-year contract worth $4 million with CBS.
The dynamic duo of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo would take over the broadcast booth for the first time during in 2017. He was quickly praised for his natural talent to use his “Romo magic” to predict offensive plays.
Romo has called two Super Bowl games during his four years as a broadcaster. Those being Super Bowl LIII and Super Bowl LV.
And although Romo hasn’t broken records on the field for four years, the retired QB still found a way to outdo himself in his broadcast career. It was announced in early 2020 that Romo would become TV’s highest-paid NFL analyst. Reports said he signed a year with CBS worth $180 million over 10 years. Meaning, we may see Tony Romo in the broadcast booth for just as long, if not longer, than we saw him on the field with the Cowboys.