Tony Romo has announced that he’s leaving the NFL to pursue a career in broadcasting, stepping in as Jim Nantz’s right-hand man. It’s a difficult jump to make, going from playing to color commentary in a matter of months, but it’s one Romo is willing to attempt.
Though he’s no longer the Cowboys’ quarterback, he hasn’t completely ruled out a return to the NFL. “Never say never” was something that came out of his mouth Tuesday, as was the fact that he’s “99 percent” sure he’ll remain out of the game.
He hasn’t officially filed his retirement papers, and he may never do so now that Dallas has released him, which has us thinking: What if Romo did return to the field? It’s possible, and some are convinced it’ll happen in 2017.
Though we never want any players to get injured, and we don’t want anyone to lose his job as a starter, it does happen in the NFL. Quarterbacks get hurt, and players are benched.
When it does happen, you can bet Romo will get calls from teams. Here are five scenarios where Romo could leave the booth for the gridiron.
Bill StreicherBill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Dak Prescott has a severe sophomore slump (or gets injured)
The Cowboys are sold on Prescott, and they should be. He’s the reigning Rookie of the Year, led Dallas to a 13-3 record and looks every bit like a franchise quarterback. However, Robert Griffin III had a similar rookie season, and we all know where his career has gone.
In this scenario, Prescott suffers an unimaginable sophomore slump that’s irreversible. He throws seven interceptions in the first three games, and Dallas is 0-3. Or, in a more unfortunate occurrence, Prescott gets injured in the preseason and the Cowboys aren’t sold on Kellen Moore as their starter.
Romo gets a call from Jerry Jones, scurries out of CBS’ broadcast booth and gets back on the field. Neither scenario would be ideal for the Cowboys, of course, and we’re not hoping for it to happen. But can you imagine Romo returning to lead Dallas to a Super Bowl after all seemed lost?
Romo makes his pitch to the Texans ahead of the season
During his conference call on Tuesday, Romo admitted the Texans were a team he looked closely at. He complimented coach Bill O’Brien and their overall body of work, making it sound like they were a good fit for him.
Spoiler alert: They were.
In this scenario, Romo and Texans GM Rick Smith both come to the very same realization in the preseason with Houston preparing to start Tom Savage, much to the chagrin of fans. Romo gives Smith a call, says he’s been flicking paper footballs around CBS’ studio and is ready to get back on the field when he realizes he's not yet ready to face the fall without shoulder pads.
Smith, having no other options besides Savage and Brandon Weeden, accepts Romo’s pitch and inserts him into the Week 1 lineup. The Texans go 8-8 but still win the AFC South because, well, the rest of the division stinks, setting up a first-round matchup with the Broncos. Houston beats Denver to make John Elway regret passing on Romo even more, before eventually losing to the Patriots in the divisional round.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY SportsTroy Taormina
John Elway lures him out of retirement
The Broncos appeared to be one of the few teams interested in Romo’s services, knowing Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch may not be the answer at quarterback. Romo is a substantially better player than both of those youngsters, and his presence would turn Denver from fringe playoff team to Super Bowl contender.
With training camp wrapping up, Elway realizes he can’t go anywhere with his current quarterbacks. He picks up the phone and asks whether Tony will come out of retirement for one last run at a championship.
Romo accepts Elway’s desperate plea, flies out to Denver, practices for a week and is the Week 1 starter. It takes Romo a little while to get acclimated to the game again, but he eventually leads the Broncos to the playoffs.
Ron ChenoyRon Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
He returns home to lead the Packers to the NFC title game
Romo was born in San Diego, but his family was originally from Burlington, Wisconsin. He attended Burlington High School before leaving for Eastern Illinois University, and in this scenario, he returns to Wisconsin in a scenario Packers fans would probably hate to see realized.
Aaron Rodgers gets injured and the Packers aren’t sold on Brett Hundley as his replacement for the long haul. Romo decides to return home to Wisconsin on a team-friendly deal, knowing he’ll have a great chance of winning a Super Bowl.
Obviously, no one wants to see the best quarterback in the game get hurt, and we don’t either. But seeing Romo make a deep run in the great city of Green Bay would be a sight to behold. Unfortunately, it comes to a screeching halt when Dez Bryant makes a spectacular leaping catch to send the Cowboys to the Super Bowl.
To no one’s surprise, the Bears realize Mike Glennon isn’t the answer
Is Glennon the answer in Chicago? No probably not. Do the Bears realize that? We’ll find out later this month when the draft gets underway. If the Bears don’t draft a quarterback early and roll into 2017 with Glennon as their starter, things could get interesting.
Say Glennon plays the first five games, has seven interceptions, but the Bears are miraculously 4-1. It won’t happen, but stick with me here. Chicago realizes he’s not the answer but believes the opportunity is there to make a run at the postseason.
Romo returns to the state in which he played his college ball, taking over for Glennon to lead a terrible Bears team to the playoffs – something he did a few times in Dallas.
Again, it’s highly unlikely, but does anyone really think Glennon is going to take Chicago to another level? You don’t have to answer that, Bears fans.