Tony Romo announced his retirement from football and the start of a new career in broadcasting on April 4. CBS Sports has hired Romo to replace Phil Simms on its A-team and will call games with Jim Nantz.
The Cowboys have confirmed that Romo has been released, per his wishes.
“We wish Tony and his family nothing but the best,” Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said in a statement. “As an organization, we did what he asked us to do in terms of his release, and we wanted to do what was ultimately in his best interest and in the best interest of his family.”
“Tony Romo has a unique combination of athletic ability, arm talent, vision and instincts for the game,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said in a statement. “What separates Tony from many other players, however, is a rare competitive spirit. Tony loves to play. Tony loves to compete. The best ones always do. In practice. During games. On the field. Off the field. Tony competes to the end in everything that he does.”
Here’s a look at Romo’s retirement plans and his career stats.
1. Romo Drew Interest From Fox, NBC and CBS Before CBS Hired Him to Replace Phil Simms
Romo’s plans for the future were first reported by ESPN. The network reports that CBS, Fox and NBC have all expressed interest in hiring Romo as a new color commentator.
The Sports Business Journal reported that CBS won the competition to hire Romo. ESPN also updated their report, noting that the Eye Network hired Romo.
ESPN reports that Romo would also like to contribute to CBS’ golf coverage eventually, since he also likes to play golf. However, he’ll focus on football first and could end up calling Super Bowl LIII with Nantz.
Back in March, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Fox Sports wanted to hire Romo to replace John Lynch, who the San Francisco 49ers hired as their general manager.
ESPN reports that the Cowboys will list Romo as a post-June 1 release, so the team will owe Romo $10.7 million for 2017 and $8.9 million in 2018. The Cowboys also get $14 million in available cap space. Still, Romo is officially no longer a Cowboy as of today.
As for Simms, his agent, Steve Rosner, told Tara Sullivan of the Bergen Record that Simms was not fired. Rosner said:
Absolutely not. He has multiple years left on his contract. I’ve had a few brief discussions with CBS in regard to the future and we have decided at the moment that we will regroup within the next month or so and figure out what his future role will be.
2. Romo’s Decision Means the Broncos & Texans Are Stuck With the Quarterbacks They Have
Romo’s decision doesn’t just impact himself and the Cowboys. The Denver Broncos and Houston Texans were both considered the top places for Romo after the Cowboys eventually release him. Now that Romo isn’t an option, Rapoport reports that the Bronos will stick with Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian, while the Texans have Tom Savage. It’s likely that the Texans will also draft another quarterback.
Rapoport also tweeted that the Texans and Broncos wouldn’t trade for Romo.
Then, just before ESPN reported on Romo’s plans to retire, NFL.com reported that Romo was given permission to speak with general managers to possibly schedule a workout or physical. Obviously, he decided against this.
3. Romo’s Last Pass as a Cowboy Was a Touchdown
The final pass in Romo’s career was a touchdown pass in the 2016 season finale game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Romo only played in three games in 2016, breaking his collarbone again in the second game of the season. According to Pro-Football-Reference stats, that touchdown pass was the only one he had in 2016.
“There was no exact plan, just get some reps,” Romo said after that game, the Star-Telegram reports. “Prove to your teammates that you’re the same guy. I just feel like I’ve been practicing well, and you just want to go out and prove to yourself, prove to your coaches and teammates that you can go and be the same guy.”
In 2015, Romo only played in four games after breaking his collarbone. He hasn’t played 16 games in a season since 2012, but played in 15 in both 2013 and 2014. He made it to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time in his career after the 2014 season, when he put up a 12-3 record with a 69.9 completion percentage, and a career-best 34 touchdown passes.
Romo wasn’t selected in the 2003 NFL draft and was signed as a free agent out of Eastern Illinois that year. Romo spent his first two seasons as a holder and finally started a game during the 2006 season. He reached the Pro Bowl after the 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2014 seasons.
4. Romo Would Reportedly Consider Coming Back
Romo appears to be pulling a page out of the Brett Favre playbook. NFL.com’s Jane Slater reports that Romo would consider coming back in the Cowboys “really needed him.”
However, the Cowboys would only need Romo if NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott got injured. After winning the starting QB role, Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott led the Cowboys to a franchise-record 11-game winning streak and the top seed in the NFC.
In November, Romo held a press conference, assuring Cowboys fans that Prescott earned the right to be the Cowboys quarterback and he was OK with staying on the sidelines.
“He’s earned the right to be our quarterback. As hard as that is for me to say he’s earned that right. He’s guided our team to an 8-1 record and that’s hard to do,” Romo said of Prescott in November.
In that same press conference though, Romo made it clear that he hoped to play 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,” he said in November. “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.
Romo never played in a Super Bowl, only posting a 2-4 record in the playoffs.
5. Romo Hopes to Spend More Time With Pregnant Wife Candice Crawford
Romo turns 37 on April 27 and is hoping to spend more time with his family after retirement, a source told ESPN.
Romo and Candice married in 2011 and are already the parents odd sons Hawkins and Rivers.
“Tony has days where he says he wants five kids and I’m like, ‘well you can have them.’ Yeah, we will have one more at least,” Candice told NBC DFW in May 2016.
“Yeah, I’d love a girl,” Romo added in that interview.
Romo also recently joined Instagram, but has only posted five videos so far. Four show his children, while another one was posted last month and was a message to Cowboys fans.