The biggest broadcast storyline of Week 1 was the debut of Tony Romo as lead NFL analyst for CBS alongside Jim Nantz. Romo was basically doing the broadcast equivalent of what Dak Prescott did by starting as a rookie in the most high profile situation in the industry.

With so many interested observers watching Romo to see how he performed in his broadcast debut and so many expectations on him both internally at CBS and externally, it was going to be maybe the most important announcing debut in quite some time.

Not only did Romo get a passing grade, he aced his debut. Nearly all of the reviews of his work were glowing with many viewers and writers appreciating his enthusiasm, insights, and ability to predict plays before they happened. Here are a sample of those reviews from around the internet and social media.

First, Sports Illustrated:

I thought Romo was good, and very good in spots. He was right in the X’s and O’s, properly enthusiastic (particularly about Marshawn Lynch’s physicality) and spoke in the kinds of informative staccato bursts that are essential for network color guys. Occasionally, his voice broke, but other than that, Romo sounded like he’d done this before.

SB Nation pointed out Romo’s clairvoyance as a major plus:

It’s nice to be loved by Twitter and be better than TV’s worst color commentator, but his most impressive feat was predicting the future, one play at a time.

He calls a safety blitz in the second quarter. In the fourth quarter, he pegged a run to the left. He called audibles, explained the rationale for fourth down thinking and walked us through why the Raiders should’ve taken timeouts on defense at the end of the first half (so the offense would have more time).

Here’s a video of many of those plays that Romo dissected for viewers at home, correctly predicting what the offense and defense was going to do at various times.

And Yahoo Sports appreciated Romo’s contemporary football knowledge and enthusiasm:

Romo brought enthusiasm to a job that’s all too often treated as Serious Football Business. More to the point, he brought a recent veteran QB’s knowledge of defensive formations and offensive tendencies, which he broke down time and again before the snap.

Perhaps Romo’s most impressive feat was winning over all of the would-be critics on Twitter because Twitter hates everything. Everyone from Jimmy Kimmel to Jemele Hill was full of praise for the former Cowboys quarterback.

CBS took a huge gamble by placing someone who was a rookie into their most important spot. But if Week 1 is any indication, the network has hit a home run with Tony Romo.

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

  • Keith P.

    He needs to be careful about predicting plays too much. Once he blows a few then it becomes a problem.

    • Brad

      I didn’t get to watch this game in my market, but thank you for pointing this out. I can’t imagine that “predicting plays” is something the home audience would generally want or need.

      • YoDudes

        The TBS guys do a lot of that during the MLB post season. After a while it becomes a “The play is Right” sort of contest

  • Bscotch Bscotch

    And Simms fit right in on the ponderous CBS studio show – win/win for the Eye.

  • He used a Maddenesque “Boom!” a few times, and I wish he didn’t keep saying “in my 11 years in the NFL…,” but those are really minor quibbles on what was overall a great job.

  • ShowDL

    He was great until the 4th when Jim intercepted the mic. 😉

    • Deon Hamner

      Thought it was a strip sack fumble?!!

  • souvien

    just sad that we’re going to have to wait a year to see Smokin’ Jay Cutler attempt the same type of pre-play predictions…

    and, of course, consistently get them wrong…

  • MetaphysicalMan

    I don’t care about predicting plays. Does nothing for me. I just want good analysis (sounds like Romo was good at that as well)

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