CBS sportscaster and former NFL quarterback Tony Romo chats with the media Tuesday, June 27, 2023 during the OSF Children's Hospital of Illinois Championship & Pro-Am at Metamora Fields Golf Club. Syndication: Peoria Journal Star

The reviews were not kind for CBS analyst Tony Romo last season.

The once-golden boy of NFL broadcasting saw audiences sour on his styleoverexuberancestrange noises, and weird turns of phrase. He even received some very public criticism from big media names while others pondered if CBS was regretting the massive contract it signed with the former Cowboys quarterback.

Things seemed to come to a head last February when the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported that CBS executives attempted an “intervention” with Romo during the prior offseason. That framing was met with immediate pushback by CBS, who told Marchand that “to call this an intervention is a complete mischaracterization, we meet regularly with our on-air talent.”

Romo offered his response to critics and CBS Sports president Sean McManus felt the need to clear the air publically as well, blaming social media for the criticism and saying that the reported meeting was not about trying to fix Romo.

“The thought that there is some kind of story behind the fact that I sat down with Tony to talk about how he can get better is just inaccurate.”

The soon-to-be-outgoing chairman changed his tune slightly last week when he appeared on The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast. McManus still disagreed with the notion that this meeting was an “intervention” but did admit that part of the discussion was about getting Romo to work on some issues.

“I flew to Dallas and we had a very similar discussion as I’ve had with many, many members of our announce team. He took it well. I emphasized the positive and some ways I thought he could be better,” McManus said. “We talked about specifics, like telestrating more on the offensive and defensive line, which I think — and our production people are tired of hearing me say this — but I think the line play, at least half the time, determines the success or failure of a play. On a napkin, I drew suggested ways he could more highlight the pulling guard or the kick-out block. He loved that. He said, ‘You’re right. I love that.’

“He then talked to [CBS No. 1 game producer] Jim Rikhoff about doing more end-zone and sky cam replays from behind the quarterback. We talked about being more active in the production meetings, which he loved with our crew. We talked about being concise and getting in and out and letting the play-by-play man have his time and letting the broadcast breathe a little bit. We talked about when the game is at its absolute peak and everyone in the stadium is yelling and going crazy to make sure you don’t get taken away by the moment and you’re still an analyst.

“One of the things that makes Tony so great is that he’s a huge fan. I think the viewer at home really enjoys that. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up and be a fan and I just reminded him, ‘You’re a broadcaster first and a fan second.’”

We can forever haggle over whether or not the meeting was an intervention or just a run-of-the-mill offseason check-in, but there’s no denying that the knives were out for Romo last season.

So far, he hasn’t received quite the same amount of criticism, for whatever that’s worth.

[New York Post, Marchand and Ourand Podcast]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to