In a story that moved very quickly today, Tony Romo will retire from the NFL and become a TV analyst. It was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Romo will end his playing career and go to TV. And just hours later, John Ourand of Sports Business Journal cited sources saying that Romo will join CBS as its main NFL analyst joining Jim Nantz on the network’s “A” team. No contract has been signed, but there is a verbal agreement between CBS and Romo.

No word if Simms will be demoted to CBS’ “B” analyst or will be dropped altogether, but this will certainly please his critics, who have been very vocal about his analysis.

According to Ourand, CBS was able to outbid Fox for Romo. Fox had wanted Romo to be on its “B” team to replace John Lynch, who became General Manager for the San Francisco 49ers. But Romo who wanted to be the top analyst right off the bat, and was concerned that Troy Aikman wasn’t likely to leave Fox.

Ourand also says Romo doesn’t want to call both Sunday afternoon and the Thursday Night Football package right away, as that will be a lot to handle, especially for a broadcasting neophyte.

A source says that Romo, a broadcasting neophyte, does not want to call both “TNF” and CBS’ national Sunday game right off the bat.

However, the NFL wants CBS or NBC to have its top broadcasting team to call TNF. Last year, the NFL turned down NBC’s plans to have Mike Tirico to call TNF to give Al Michaels a break. NBC managed to find a way to get Tirico on TNF by giving Michaels a “bye” week.

One way to handle the situation would perhaps be giving Romo some Sundays off in the first half of the season while still calling Thursday Night Football. But who would call Sunday afternoon games if Romo is given them off? Would it be Simms? Would CBS bring up Dan Fouts from the current “B” team?

These are questions that have to be resolved before the season begins. But for now, the main takeaway is that Phil Simms will no longer be the top analyst on the NFL on CBS, and that Tony Romo will retire from the NFL and replace him. And there are some questions that have to be answered as CBS transitions to a new era on its NFL package.

One interesting side note – Romo will be on the mic for at least one Cowboys game this season:

For a network that prides itself on consistency, this will certainly bring some upheaval to the NFL on CBS.

[Sports Business Daily]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

  • CreightonRabs

    Seriously? And Tony Romo has “paid his dues” to be CBS’ top analyst how, exactly?

    That’s okay… I’ll wait.

  • John Danknich

    Somewhere, Phil Simms is curled up in the fetal position muttering “Jeem” over and over.

  • Hawksian

    I’m sure Romo will be as bad as all the rest of the NFL analysts but I’ll take him sight unseen over the disaster that is Phil Simms.

  • Apparently, the way to the top of the industry is to play under center in Dallas. Where did Roger Staubach go wrong?

  • Racing Fan

    All the top guys right now started on lower teams, even Aikman and Collinsworth, or 3-men booths. This is real risky for CBS. Remember Shane Battier was a can’t miss TV guy and Tiki Barber and Jerome Bettis , too.

    I know AA loves Dan Fouts, but he is not getting anywhere near the top broadcast team. They keep pushing that dream everytime these stories come up.

    The guy Fox should move up to the No. 2 team is right on their roster, Chris Speilman.

  • DrewShervin

    Never have seen this before. I’m surprised Phil Simms is being replaced. Don’t know how you take a guy right off the street and promote him to #1. If I’m Fox I grab Phil and install him as #2 to replace Lynch if Simms no longer wants to stay at CBS. Phil is well prepared and he is only 62. I think he is getting a raw deal here.

  • Sting Rey

    you would think the networks have learned their lesson. yet they are still quick to hire the hot, new, retiree without ZERO media training.
    see joe montana, isaiah thomas, bill parcells, emitt smith, shane battier, matt millen

    • jetsfan

      Believe it or not, before he left to be a disastrous executive for the Lions Matt Millen was on the two team on FOX with Stockton and was well-regarded as an analyst and up and coming star at FOX. Since being fired from Detroit, he has been an awful analyst, but I would take Millen’s name off this list as he is still announcing and got good press when he first started out as an announcer on FOX.

      • Son of Rusty Shackleford

        He shouldn’t have……he was lousy the first time around too!

    • Bscotch Bscotch

      Bill Walsh….Pat Riley…..Bettis….Tiki

      • Stuie299

        Bob Knight.

  • Bscotch Bscotch

    Anyone bother to see if Romo can actually….you know….call a game?

  • Respected Citizen

    Wooooooooo *backflip*

  • Justin_Herrick

    It’s a little strange. I don’t get why they’d rush to sign him. Tony Romo isn’t Peyton Manning, meaning he’s not this huge name with a decorated playing career. Romo never won a Super Bowl, never won an MVP, and he only made it to 4 Pro Bowls after playing for more than a decade. Maybe CBS Sports sees the appeal that I don’t.

  • Shawn Diiorio

    Kind of mind boggling. Romo has no booth experience and you are making him your Top Color Commentator? I would have had him work on one of the lower teams to give him time to develop a craft first, maybe work with a play by play man who can help him along then move him up. They had Troy Aikman work a year with Dick Stockton before putting him on the top team with Joe Buck.

  • sportsfan365

    A cadaver would provide better analysis than Simms.

  • Jean H Pierre

    Am 50-50 on this. Am happy but saddened. Phil Simms is good but CBS realized like FOX they have to mix it up when it comes their play by play and analyst. Tony Romo will do fine. Just wished they could’ve done a three man crew. Hey…Jim Nantz dealt with a Bill Raftery and Grant Hill why not Simms and Romo. Looking forward to the fall with the NFL on CBS.

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