Tony Romo Retired, In Broadcasting: What Happens Now?

Tony Romo retired to become a CBS color commentator, but what happens now? Will he un-retire, be great, be awful, or find his way into the studio?

After the Dallas Cowboys announced that the team officially released quarterback Tony Romo, the former signal caller retired to become a CBS color commentator. He is to replace Phil Simms. That much we know, but what exactly happens now?

Retirement could be a ploy to get a better deal, or Romo could truly be starting his second career. There are four options for the future of the former Dallas Cowboy. We debate.

Two brothers from New York, Dan Salem and Todd Salem, discuss Tony Romo in today’s NFL Sports Debate.

Todd Salem:

Here are the four Tony Romo scenarios:

1. He becomes a good studio guy.
2. He becomes a good game analyst in the booth.
3. He fake retires to force someone’s hand into signing him.
4. He isn’t good on television.

(Scenario number 2 seems to be real life, at least for the moment. CBS is going to place him as their top color guy, alongside Jim Nantz.)

Everyone seems to have ruled out options 3 and 4 for some reason. No one believes Romo is coming back, a la Marshawn Lynch. Obviously Lynch actually stayed away for a year before getting the itch again. With Romo, it seems more likely that he said he would retire to force a release from Dallas. At that point (the point we are currently living in), another franchise could inquire about him “ending his retirement” because they really need him. Aren’t there a lot of teams that really need him but didn’t want to give up a draft pick to acquire him?

And then there’s option 4. Why is it a given that Romo will be good on television? This is what everyone is saying. In fact, people have been saying it for years as the punchline of a joke about his career. Why would he put his body through this when he could retire and become an amazing analyst?

Why is Romo going to be amazing? Maybe I don’t follow the Cowboys closely enough, but it really feels like he has never been funny, engaging, outgoing or interesting in anyway. He isn’t Michael or Martellus Bennett; he isn’t Richard Sherman; he feels incredibly boring to me. I’m actually higher on him as a quarterback in 2017 than a TV personality.

Bryan Curtis of The Ringer, who is much more locked into the Dallas scene than either of us, actually admitted that Romo hasn’t been entertaining for a long, long time. He marks the turning point, when Romo once said something slightly human and the media turned on him. That was it. But if we’re being honest, was his original jovial, charming self even that entertaining? I’m still dubious.

How would you order our four Romo scenarios in terms of likelihood? Call me a skeptic, but I have number 4 leading the way. My order is 4, 2, 1, 3.

I know I brought up the possibility of him still playing, but I don’t believe that is more likely. I simply believe it is still possible. I also think he could be given the lead color job for games, not be great at it, and settle in as a studio analyst. Everything is still in play. My gut tells me he will be kind of boring and blah, though. I don’t understand the draw of Booth Romo like everyone else seems to.

Dan Salem:

I really like Romo the studio guy. His smile and demeanor seem like a perfect fit for the other ex-NFL players and longtime analysts who add some flair to the otherwise monotonous halftime recaps and pregame predictions. Romo doesn’t have to make the jokes, as long as he’s okay being the butt of them as part of the group of four of five men in studio. Yet that is not the job that CBS hired Romo for. He will be replacing Phil Simms as lead color commentator. Talk about BIG shoes to fill.

As a New York Jets fan, I’ve had the pleasure of listening to Simms for years. I love his cool wit and dry style. Where is he going? I already miss Phil and he hasn’t left yet! This presents a big challenge for Romo. Not only is he diving right into the lion’s den, but he’s doing so in place of one of the top talents previously working. I’m not saying he won’t do well, but I’m saying its not the most likely outcome.

Of the four Tony Romo options, I lean towards studio success. My order is 1, 2, 4, 3 because ultimately I believe he stays retired and does do pretty well.

Becoming a good studio guy means he only has the one season as game analyst before moving into the studio for the playoffs. My instincts tell me that Romo’s smile will succeed on television. He just has the look of a guy who is fun to watch, regardless of his track record.

I’m not ruling out the possibility of him playing poker with the league and un-retiring before ever missing a game. Yet this is his chance to parlay into bigger money and longevity on television as a personality. This is his chance for a second career. If he backs out of the CBS deal, it will be harder for him to get a new one in 2018 or 2019. The long play is to stay retired, but the itch of football is hard to ignore. Its also possible he fails, but Romo has proved us all wrong over and over again. I don’t see him folding under the bright lights of television.

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