As he weighs his career options, Tony Romo has become the hottest free agent in broadcasting.
In the last few weeks, the former Cowboys quarterback has been mentioned as a candidate to replace John Lynch at FOX and also as a candidate for an analyst position at CBS. And on Wednesday, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that not only does CBS want Romo, they might want him to replace Phil Simms on their No. 1 broadcast team.
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
Now, we know that many people saw that tweet and salivated. Many NFL fans love to hate Simms (and tweet at Awful Announcing about it) and would surely welcome anyone taking over his seat.
An as Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio points out, CBS’ Thursday Night Football package would make the task even harder.
An immediate installment as the No. 1 guy could be overwhelming for Romo, given that CBS has the Thursday night package for the first half of the season. In his first year of learning how to call games, he’d be calling two per week.
Florio also notes that accepting the CBS’ No. 1 job would likely close the door on Romo returning to the NFL—given that CBS would presumably want a firm commitment—and he might not be ready to take that dive.
Landing at the top of the CBS football food chain also could make it harder for Romo to pull a Roger Clemens and return to the field during the season, if an opportunity to play half a season for a contender would emerge with the bursting of a tendon or the shredding of a ligament.
For those reasons, it’s tough to see Romo actually usurping Simms on CBS’ top team heading into next season. For the network, it’s a huge risk on an unproven talent. For Romo, it’d likely require a commitment he might not be willing to offer.
But could CBS hire Romo, put him on another broadcast team, see if he’s as good as they think he’ll be, give him a chance to prove his loyalty and groom him for the top chair? Now we’re talking.