Tony Romo purposely avoiding using the word 'retired' after Cowboys release

The newest member of the mothership, one Tony Romo, who left football to join CBS Sports as our lead NFL analyst, is getting plenty of media requests in his life after moving on from the Cowboys

One of the immediate appearances was on CBS Sports Radio affiliate 105.3 the Fan with the Ben and Skin Show, where he declined to use the word “retired.”

“I literally had the opportunity to continue to keep playing football. I’m choosing not to. I think that’s a pretty easy statement when it comes to what I’m doing,” Romo said. “I know the ‘retired’ word is like this word that all of a sudden has 90 different meanings, but it just feels like you’re done playing football. You want to call it retired, you want to call it whatever you want, I’m moving on to talking about it. I just don’t envision that ever changing.”

He doesn’t need to be “retired” in order to be done with football as a player and moving on as a media member. 

But a couple of things cause Romo’s technical status and usage of that word to pop up again and again. 

First, he did say he is “99 percent” done playing football. Ninety-nine is really, really close to 100 but not all the way there. People are going to pop on tinfoil hats and ask questions when something isn’t 100 percent.

Secondly, Romo isn’t technically retired anyway. He had his contract as a vested veteran terminated by the Cowboys on Tuesday, but the transaction wire does not reflect a retirement on his part, meaning he hasn’t filed papers. Important to note: he doesn’t have to.

And thirdly, it doesn’t matter if he does. Look at the case of Marshawn Lynch, who walked away from football in the middle of Super Bowl 50 and officially retired, but appears ready to come back if the Raiders can make it work. 

The Lynch factor might even be the driving force here, because the world is immediately reminded how non-official official retirement actually is. 

But here’s the reality: Romo is embarking on a new life as a broadcaster and he’s genuinely excited about it. As he said, he is actively choosing not to play football, even though he had the “opportunity to continue” doing so.  

“As it got closer and as I got all the way in, it became CBS, and now when I look back, it seems like an easy decision. But it took a while to get there,” Romo said. “Now, moving forward, I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’ve got to go and start from ground zero, just try to figure out how to build my way up and become someone who’s good at their craft.”

Look, Romo just landed a cushy gig with one of the best media companies in the world (my bosses might read this, and that’s a bonus I guess, but it’s a true statement regardless; CBS is a wonderful place to work). He is in a plum position, walking away from football with a ton of success, a family to spend time with, his health intact and the distinct possibility that he becomes a tremendous commentator on football broadcasts. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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