Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who made four Pro Bowls in his 12-year playing career, is already getting accolades for his post-retirement endeavor of broadcasting.
Just eight months into Romo’s career as a media member, Sports Illustrated has named the rookie color commentator its 2017 Media Person of the Year.
“Romo’s knowledge of the league—specifically the formations and fronts of teams and how an offense attacks a defense—made him an invaluable resource for NFL viewers,” SI columnist Richard Deitsch writes.
“His natural enthusiasm and love for football translated for audiences and he has rightly received praise from fans and the NFL establishment.”
He’s been dubbed a soothsayer in the booth with an ability to call plays before they happen, and heralded for his nonconformity and fervor for the game of football in the booth. For this WFAA.com writer, for one, it’s felt like Romo was in the living room talking about the game and dissecting plays for both the avid x’s-and-o’s fan and the casual spectator alike.
Romo was on the Cowboys’ roster until April, when he announced he was stepping away from the game to join Jim Nantz on CBS’ No. 1 broadcast team. Since, he’s done one Sunday afternoon broadcast each week and several Thursday Night broadcasts.
Before entering the booth, he was a star quarterback still at the top of his game, but oft sidelined by injuries in the latter years of his career.
He appeared in just five games over his final two years. A fractured clavicle ended his 2015 season and paved the way for an abysmal 1-11 run without him. In 2016, he fractured a vertebra in a preseason game, sidelining him through most of November.
Rookie sensation Dak Prescott, who had led the team to eight consecutive wins, played well enough to usurp the starting role from Romo even after the veteran was deemed healthy enough to play. Romo conceded the starting job in an emotional speech on Nov. 16 of last year.
Amid months of trade speculation, Romo surprised the NFL world by announcing on April 4 that he was stepping away from the game. In the weeks after his departure from the NFL, Romo was honored by the Dallas Mavericks and the Texas State Legislature, among others.
The Cowboys honored their former quarterback in his return to AT&T Stadium as a broadcaster on Nov. 5.
Romo, husband to wife Candice and a father of three, comments in the Sports Illustrated piece that the first 14 weeks of this season have confirmed that the decision to pursue broadcasting was the right one.
“For me this job allows me to hopefully be a decent dad and to do a good job at that—and still be in the game of football,” he says. “I think this is the one job that allowed me to do that.”
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