One of the NFL’s most highly anticipated player personnel moves has finally reached a decision. Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo has decided to indeed retire instead of play on another season. And he looks likely to step straight into a prominent broadcasting role.
Romo was the subject of possible trade rumors and speculation that he could sign with a new team like the Texans or Broncos and compete for a starting job if released by the Cowboys. However, after battling injuries the last several seasons and being supplanted by Dak Prescott in Dallas, Romo has decided to hang ’em up and pursue a new career.
Adam Schefter broke the news this morning at ESPN:
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is leaving football and going into broadcasting, even with Dallas planning to release him Tuesday, league sources tell ESPN.
Romo has received interest from CBS, Fox and NBC, and can choose to be a color commentator where he wants. That move could come as early as Tuesday, sources said.
But the decision to leave football already has been made. His run as the Cowboys’ quarterback — and an NFL player — officially ends Tuesday.
Now the fun begins of trying to predict where Romo will land. Of course all of the networks are interested because Romo was the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.
Now we can try to sort through the possibilities. It’s hard to see Romo going into the studio given just how jam packed every single network is with analysts. ESPN has already added Rex Ryan this offseason and just replaced pretty much their entire first line of analysts with new faces last season. Fox and NBC have their sets packed. The only opening could be The NFL Today on CBS where Tony Gonzalez has left the broadcasting industry.
What about the broadcast booth? Well, Romo isn’t replacing Cris Collinsworth anytime soon and it’s hard to see NBC going to a three-man booth all of a sudden for the first time in their Sunday Night Football package. The two obvious choices seem to be Romo stepping in for John Lynch alongside Kevin Burkhardt in Fox’s #2 broadcast booth or replacing Phil Simms alongside Jim Nantz as the new lead analyst for CBS. Both moves had been previously reported as possibilities by NFL insiders.
One tidbit on #Cowboys QB Tony Romo: CBS is eyeing him as a potential replacement for Phil Simms in the booth. A big-time opportunity looms.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 29, 2017
Fox Sports would like to replace John Lynch with….Tony Romo, per sources. Other networks also interested. Romo's goal remains to play.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2017
If I had to make a prediction, (preparing for myself to appear on Freezing Cold Takes) the Fox move seems more likely. It’s hard to see Romo stepping into a lead broadcast booth immediately after retirement with zero experience and replacing Phil Simms. As much as some football fans might desire that, we have no idea just how good or bad Romo might be as an analyst. That kind of spotlight would be immense and if Romo falters and becomes the next Joe Montana, then what is CBS left to do? Additionally, they would have to decide what to do with their longtime lead analyst. Would they try to encourage Simms to retire or would they have to move him down the pecking order and shake up all of their broadcast booths?
At Fox, Romo could step in right away to a ready-made situation for him and not face the pressure of being the face of the network. Additionally, with the NFC package, he would likely be more familiar with more of the teams and games he would call. It would also give Fox a Dallas Cowboys quarterback as their two lead game analysts, which makes you wonder when a network is giving Brandon Weeden a call.