Last season’s top rookie quarterback, Dakota Prescott, has forced veteran Tony Romo into retirement. Well, Tony’s going out of football cannot be blamed all on Dak as Romo’s injured prone body also played a major role in this move.
Despite interest from at least one playoff-ready NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys legend and four-time Pro Bowler is set to retire in order to pursue a career in football broadcasting, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Romo was slated to be released by the Cowboys on Tuesday.
“Tony Romo made the decision after this comes out, after consulting with those close to him, after examining his body and looking at where he is in his career, he decided to step away from football and embrace one of the broadcasting opportunities that he’s had for some time,” Rapoport reported on Good Morning Football on Tuesday. “FOX has been interested, CBS views him as a potential replacement for Phil Simms, that would be an option as well. And then NBC as well.”
Romo’s decision comes amid a tumultuous period in his career both emotionally and health-wise. Romo appeared in just five games over the past two seasons due to a twice-broken collarbone and broken back. In both cases, he still managed to claw his way onto the field for at least one appearance.
This time, however, the Cowboys had rookie star Dak Prescott firmly entrenched in his old job.
During a news conference in November, Romo essentially surrendered the gig that he had held on a regular basis since 2006, he foreshadowed a comeback season elsewhere. He talked about his desire to play football at a high level again.
“If you think for a second that I don’t want to be out there, than you’ve probably never felt the ecstasy of competing and winning,” Romo said. “That hasn’t left me. In fact, it may burn more now than ever. It’s not always easy to watch and I think anyone who has been in this position understands that.”
That took a back seat to health concerns. As Rapoport had reported previously, both Fox and NBC came at the quarterback. CBS was eyeing Romo as a replacement for long-time color analyst Phil Simms for their prime Sunday games. The affable and well-spoken Romo would be an obvious choice as the next great player-analyst.
Unfortunately, it robs fans a chance to see his last ride even though NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported Tuesday morning that Romo would consider coming back if the Cowboys ever really needed him. Romo was absolutely under-appreciated. A former undrafted free agent out of Eastern Illinois, he caught the eye of then Cowboys assistant head coach and fellow EIU Panther Sean Payton. For two seasons, Romo held kicks and backed up a carousel of high-upside projects like Drew Henson and established veterans like the 41-year-old Vinny Testaverde in 2004 and the 33-year-old Drew Bledsoe in 2005.