In his two years in the CBS broadcast booth for the NFL, Tony Romo has emerged as something very rare: an NFL announcer whose work is nearly universally praised.
Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, stepped immediately into the No. 1 analyst spot in the CBS broadcast booth following his 2017 retirement, and in that time has been praised for everything from his delivery to his preparedness to his tendency to accurately predict the next play on offense. The Ringer profiled Romo this week.
On Sunday, Romo will call his first Super Bowl along with longtime CBS play-by-play man Jim Nantz. And it’s also the first time Romo will figure prominently in a Super Bowl, as he never played in the “Big Game” in his entire playing career.
Romo played for 10 seasons in the NFL, all with the Cowboys, although there were three other years of his career, two at the beginning and one at the end, in which he was on the team’s roster but didn’t play in any games. Undrafted out of Eastern Illinois, Romo signed with the Cowboys and became their starting quarterback in 2006, when the team was coached by Bill Parcells.
In his career in Dallas, Romo played in six playoff games, winning two of them, and both wins came in the wild-card round, per Pro Football Reference. In his first career playoff game, in January of 2007, the Cowboys lost to the Seattle Seahawks after Romo, acting as the holder on a field goal attempt, fumbled the snap, leading to Seattle winning the game.
The following year, after the Cowboys went 13-3 in the regular season and were the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Cowboys lost at home to the New York Giants, 21-17, with Romo throwing an interception on the final drive. This came during the period when Romo was dating Jessica Simpson, and the two infamously vacationed in Mexico the week before the game, per the Dallas Morning News.
The two losses caused Romo to develop a reputation for choking in the playoffs but two years later, Romo would finally get his first postseason win when the Cowboys beat another divisional rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, in January of 2010. However, the Cowboys would lose in blowout fashion the following week, 34-3, in the divisional round to the Minnesota Vikings.
Romo’s only other trip to the playoffs would come five years later, in 2015, when the Cowboys beat the Detroit Lions 24-20 in the wild-card round. The following week, Romo and Dallas would lose to the Green Bay Packers, in a game that the Cowboys led going into the fourth quarter, but Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. This was the game when Rodgers used the memorable audible call “New York bozo,” per Penn Live.
The following season was Romo’s last as an active player, and he was hired by CBS almost immediately upon his retirement in 2017. Romo joined a large group of former Cowboys players who have become broadcasters, including Troy Aikman, another ex-quarterback, who is Romo’s counterpart in Fox’s booth. Romo’s former teammate, Jason Witten, took a similar route to the Monday Night Football booth on ESPN, taking that job immediately after the end of his playing career with the Cowboys.