After 14 years with the Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo has and head for the broadcast booth. CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus announced Tuesday that Romo will be joining the network’s NFL team for the upcoming season.
The former Cowboys quarterback will be the lead NFL game analyst at CBS, where he’ll be paired with lead announcer Jim Nantz and sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson on the network’s No. 1 NFL team.
“Tony has been one of the NFL’s biggest stars for the past decade, and we are thrilled to welcome him to CBS Sports,” McManus said Tuesday. “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.”
Romo’s future has been up in the air since free agency began March 9, and after mulling it over, Romo felt that making the move to CBS was the best choice.
“When you think about the NFL, two of the most iconic brands are the Dallas Cowboys and CBS Sports,” Romo said. “Going from one legendary team to another as I begin the next phase of my career is a dream come true. 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.”
The Cowboys officially released Romo on Tuesday after his move to CBS became official.
The 36-year-old already seems pretty excited about his new job:
Although Romo loves the game of golf, McManus said there’s no immediate plan to have the retired quarterback to call anything except for football.
“We have not had any conversations with Tony about doing anything other than NFL football,” McManus said during a conference call on Tuesday.
In his first interview since joining CBS, Romo revealed that he did have a few other media offers to choose from.
“I did talk to other networks, and I want to thank them as well, they were great throughout this process,” Romo said. “I felt a real connection with the CBS group and I just felt at this time that the opportunity to work with them is really a gift and a privilege.”
After spending 14 years in Dallas, Romo admitted that being impartial won’t come easy at first.
“My feelings are that I’m always going to feel the need to talk up the Cowboys, those are your friends,” Romo said. “These are people you’re close with for a long time. Now, there’s part of my job, I need to be impartial. I don’t think I’m going to see anything out of the ordinary. For the most part, what I see is what I’m going to talk about.”
The quarterback then added that his familiarity with the Cowboys will have help him educate the average viewer.
“I’m not sure everyone knows, but Terrance Williams is one of the best blocking receivers in the NFL,” Romo said, referring to his former teammate. “The one thing I can tell you is that I will be fine critiquing players. I enjoy talking about what’s right and what’s wrong.”
As for the elephant in the room -- Romo’s possible return to the NFL -- the quarterback didn’t completely close the door, but he came close.
“I don’t envision coming out, but I’ve also seen enough things from ‘I’m not going to Alabama’ to ‘I’m not returning to football,’” Romo said. “Do I envision coming back to football? I do not. You never say never. I just tell you it’s about 99 percent [that I don’t return].”
The retired quarterback said the most difficult part about returning is that you can’t just come off the couch and play NFL football.
“There’s no part of me that wants to play,” Romo said. “Right now, I’m committed 100 percent to CBS. You always leave yourself a little wiggle room, but I understand what it takes to play football.”
Romo will replace former lead analyst Phil Simms, who has been with CBS booth since 1998. Although he won’t be in the booth with Nantz going forward, Simms may still have a role at CBS, according to McManus.
“As we welcome Tony, we want to acknowledge Phil Simms, who served as our lead NFL analyst for nearly 20 years,” McManus said. “Phil has been a very important part of our coverage since the NFL returned to CBS in 1998. His strong opinions, coupled with his tremendous knowledge and passion for the National Football League, has created a unique broadcasting style making him one of the best analysts to ever call the game. We are discussing with Phil his future role with CBS Sports. We cannot thank him enough for the way he has represented himself and CBS Sports during his tenure as CBS’s lead NFL analyst.”
Although we know Romo and Nantz will make up the No. 1 announcing team for the upcoming season, the full list of CBS announcers for the 2017 won’t be released until this summer.