Tony Romo decided to call it quits after Dak Prescott took his starting job in Dallas. It turned out to be a great decision that Romo — and football fans — benefited from.
Expectations weren’t high for Romo, who was replacing Phil Simms — not exactly the most popular guy among NFL fans.
But Romo was great in the broadcast booth from Day 1. He brought his knowledge of the game to our homes immediately, predicted plays, and became a fun personality you couldn’t wait to tune in to watch.
So here’s what made Romo’s first season great, and a preview of what can be expected going into next season.
He immediately showed us he was going to be great.
In Week 1 while broadcasting the Raiders-Titans game, he started by talking about safety blitzes (also predicting one) and explained the Raiders ran the third-down play they did in order to go for it on fourth.
Then, calling out the plays really began.
Listening to audibles, Romo was able to predict where the Raiders would be running on this play.
His boss, CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus, was happy with his first performance in the booth too, mainly because Twitter wasn’t mean to him.
“I was pleasantly surprised, because social media by and large is very negative, for everybody, for all announcers and all networks. The fact that it was positive is satisfying for me, but I also take it with a grain of salt.”
Little did he know, Romo was just getting started.
He put us inside the mind of Bill Belichick.
But Romo explained the Patriots did that so when the Pats’ opponent goes through tape next week, it alters the percentage of how often they play man and rush five in that situation.
That was one of his better pieces of knowledge he dropped all season. There haven’t been many times where we can actually learn something about Belichick.
It’s not like he’s going to give that up in a press conference, as we all know quite well.
He called the Packers running a bootleg on a fourth-and-1.
Let us just start off by saying what a treat it was when we got to have Romo on Thursday Night Football. If the games weren’t going to be good, at least we’d learn something.
During the Packers-Bears Week 4 matchup, He called for a bootleg on a Packers’ fourth-and-1. And of course, he was right.
Not only did he call the bootleg, but he said Randall Cobb would be going left on the play, which he did.
He called out exactly how the Raiders would run out the clock in October.
In Week 4, the Raiders were facing a fourth down with four seconds remaining in the first half. It wasn’t a surprise they would try to run out the clock, but Romo was able to explain in detail just how they’d do it.
There’s plenty of ways to get this done, which makes it even more impressive Romo was spot on with this particular play.
TONY’S TAKES TONY!
It wasn’t a prediction here that made us enjoy Romo, but rather a cartoon version of Romo that delivered takes:
He turned out to be a pretty good meme, too. You can’t tell us that he doesn’t look exactly like the logo for a chain of frozen pizzas:
It also looks like he could be a teacher for some basic math. Though if he taught the same way he broadcasts, you’d never need to figure out the answer on your own, he would just give it to you:
And somehow, he looks like a promoter for CBS sitcoms:
Hopefully CBS brings this back. It was a nice comedic break during games that might not have otherwise been great.
His first Cowboys game provided unmatched insight.
The Cowboys welcomed back Romo in Week 9 when they took on the Chiefs at AT&T Stadium. His familiarity with the Cowboys made for great commentary, while also not spoiling what the Cowboys were doing.
He was calling his teammates by first name, talked about Jason Garrett’s culture with the team, and how that translates with players.
“He wants to see balance,” Romo said. “He is about culture, environment. He believes in motivating. He wants to motivate players.”
The sunlight that beams into the stadium is typically a big talking point and how it affects quarterbacks, but Romo explained otherwise:
Tony Romo says dealing with the sun at AT&T Stadium is overblown. Said it doesn't really bother QBs. Bigger problem for WRs.— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 5, 2017
Any game Romo is calling is worth tuning into. When it’s the Cowboys, that’s must-see TV.
He sent us out with more predictions in the AFC Championship
During the third quarter of the AFC Championship game, Romo said the Jaguars would be going with crossers, and that’s exactly what happened.
In the fourth quarter, he said Danny Amendola would be cutting across the field, which he did, for what would be the game-winning touchdown.
But he gave us more than predictions in his final game of the season.
He made some weird noises!
After a close Amendola reception, Romo just ... broke.
It had to be the only time this season where Romo didn’t have words, and we can’t really blame him. We appreciate all the other times Romo knew exactly what to say, and look forward to his expertise throughout next season.
A nice little bonus is CBS is carrying Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta. A Tony Romo Super Bowl? Yes please.