Tony Romo will reportedly retire from the Dallas Cowboys and go into broadcasting, which was the best option for him.
For the most part, the Houston Texans have been waiting on the Dallas Cowboys and Tony Romo for most of this offseason. With the emergence of Dak Prescott as a rookie in Dallas, Romo was essentially shown the door—or was going to be. Everyone has been waiting on the release of the veteran quarterback or for him to be traded. Instead, another option emerged and that was the one that he took.
Certainly the Texans and many other fans were shocked by the news. However, no one really should’ve been that shocked. When you think about it, Romo would’ve been 37 years old at the start of the 2017 season. He hasn’t played a full season in two years and may not even be the answer to a team like Houston’s prayers. In fact, retirement was the best choice for the former Cowboys quarterback.
Here are five reasons why that’s the case:
Aug 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) looks on against the Los Angeles Rams during the third quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
5. He’s Made For the Broadcast Booth
Tony Romo was an exceptional quarterback. When you look back over his career, it’s hard to deny what he was able to accomplish. No, that may not include playoff wins and it’s not a career without a fair share of blunders. However, the stats don’t lie and neither does the respect that the quarterback gets from players and coaches throughout the league.
That’s all true, but the crazy part is that he might be more of a natural in the broadcast booth than he ever was as a quarterback. Every time that he’s appeared for an interview, been in front of the press to speak to the media or has just simply been speaking publicly, Romo has been fantastic. He’s charismatic, charming, entertaining and obviously intelligent about the game. That’s not something all people, especially athletes, have. But the now former Cowboys quarterback has it by the boatload.
Romo is going to take over for Phil Simms and absolutely slay it for CBS. Rather than subjecting himself to another season of potential injury or the rigors of an NFL season, he’s going to be chilling beside Jim Nantz all season long. Even better, he’s going to be doing something that he’s a natural at and should absolutely slay. It’s hard to think that’s not a natural reason for him to retire right now.
Aug 25, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) lies on the turf after a tackle against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
4. The Injuries Weren’t Going to Stop
Tony Romo will turn 37 years old later in April. Though we see the likes of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and even Eli Manning play to that age and be effective, that’s not the norm. Sometimes an athlete’s body just starts to betray him. Obviously I’m not a doctor and haven’t looked extensively at the medical records of Romo. But that kind of seems to be what was happening over what is now the end of his career.
In the 2015 season, Romo played in only four games due to a litany of injuries—and due to trying to rush back from some of them and simply getting hurt again in the process. That was followed by the back injury in the 2016 preseason that allowed Prescott to assume the starting role. He played in only one game, but would’ve only had the chance to play half of the season even if the Dak-Mania hadn’t ensued. Whenever you’re starting quarterback is missing that much time at this age, it’s red flags waving at 100 miles per hour.
Truthfully, it just seemed like the injuries were the norm for Romo at this point in his career. That’s not a knock on him by any stretch. It’s something that’s entirely out of his control and that he truly couldn’t do anything about. However, can you imagine how disheartening it would’ve been for a team like the Texans and for Romo himself if he’d have gone elsewhere, suited up and then just gotten injured again? That would’ve been a devastating blow to say the least. With the decision to retire, he avoids that risk.
Aug 1, 2016; Irvine, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) gestures at training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
3. He Would’ve Ended Up In A Bad Spot
If you were to ask a Houston Texans fans about Tony Romo, he would’ve made them into a Super Bowl contender. At his very best, that might’ve been true. But we’ve already discussed that the injuries weren’t going to stop, so there’s no guarantee that he would’ve been able to hold up. However, before you even talk about his fragility, the fact remains that the Texans actually aren’t a great spot for him.
Just on the field, there’s nothing more paramount than keeping a veteran quarterback with Romo’s injury history upright and clean. For all of Brock Osweiler’s faults, he also didn’t get much help from the Houston offensive line. With injuries to the likes of Derek Newton and inconsistent play elsewhere along the front, they were a paltry unit that also has an uncertain future, frankly. That’s not a good thing to have in front of Romo and would’ve ultimately either led to (say it with me now) an injury, or just generally disappointing play as Romo wouldn’t have the time to operate effectively.
More than that, though, the Texans clearly only viewed Romo as a short-term solution. So even if he came in, stayed healthy and played decently well in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, they were likely to draft a quarterback and look for that guy to usurp Romo whenever ready. Though it’d be different circumstances, that’s the same situation that forced him to leave the Cowboys. And it really just puts the cherry on the top as to why the quarterback would’ve ended up in a bad position if he switched teams.
Aug 19, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and quarterback Tony Romo (9) talk during the pregame warmups against the Miami Dolphins at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
2. Finally, The Drama Stops
Throughout the numerous reports, rumors and things in-between, one of the more interesting developments of late has been that things had started to get kind of ugly. With reports that Romo was basically turning his back on people within the organization because they were “Team Dak” and essentially disavowing the franchise that he was so engrained in the history of, it was obviously a bad look that was starting to come into sight.
Frankly, the “Team Dak” situation made Romo come off ultimately as juvenile. He seemed like a kid who didn’t get his way and was acting petulant because of that. It was the NFL equivalent of “you ate lunch with that guy and I don’t like him, so we aren’t friends anymore.” No one wins when that type of stuff starts coming out in the news. It makes Romo look bad and ultimately tarnishes what would otherwise be a great legacy with the Cowboys.
Luckily, all of that ends. It stands to reason that the “Team Dak” stuff was merely the beginning of what was to come if he were to be released and join another team. There were going to be more reports of that nature and the bad blood was going to continue to boil. Fans don’t have to suffer through that, the Cowboys don’t have to fight it and Romo doesn’t have to have his character questioned because of it. And this really ties into the last reason why this was the right option.
Jan 1, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) runs onto the field during introductions before game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
1. His Legacy Remains With Cowboys
Amidst all of the rumors and drama, the one thing that might’ve been overlooked was the notion of Tony Romo playing with anything but the star on the side of his helmet. Can you honestly imagine him in a Texans jersey? A Broncos jersey? Any other jersey that wasn’t the Cowboys? The answer is a definitive no.
Though Dak Prescott may be the future of the Cowboys at quarterback, Romo is entrenched in their recent history. There were certainly some moments that fans and the veteran quarterback himself would love to forget, surely. With that being said, Romo is also one of the under-appreciated great quarterbacks of the modern era. He brought tremendous to success to Dallas while under center and deserves to be remembered for what he was able to accomplish while leading the offense for America’s Team.
Rather than having a weird end-of-career run with some other team—whether it was successful or not—that legacy for Romo remains in tact. He started his career as a member of the Dallas Cowboys and that’s how his career will end as well. Though the ending to his tenure there may have had some rocky moments where drama started to creep up, perhaps the best quarterback in the history of the franchise (yeah, I said it) will leave the game as the a member of that team.