Cowboys’ Tony Romo leaving football, replacing Phil Simms on CBS broadcasts

0:50 | NFL
Report: Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo plans to retire, go into broadcasting
Tuesday April 4th, 2017

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is leaving football and will join CBS’s broadcast team, the network announced Tuesday.

ESPN.com's Adam Schefter and Todd Archer first reported Romo was going into broadcasting. Sports Business Daily broke the news that Romo would replace Phil Simms as CBS’s top analyst and pair with Jim Nantz on broadcasts.

Romo confirmed his departure for CBS with a photo on Twitter.

Romo will join Nantz and Tracy Wolfson on CBS’s lead announcer team this season. CBS’s statement called Simms a “very important” part of their coverage and “one of the best analysts ever to call the game.” The network remains in conversation with Simms about his future role.

“Tony has been one of the NFL’s biggest stars for the past decade, and we are thrilled to welcome him to CBS,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. “He will bring the same passion, enthusiasm and knowledge that he displayed on the field to the broadcast booth. He brings a fresh and insightful perspective to our viewers having just stepped off the field. We know Tony will quickly develop into a terrific analyst, and alongside Jim Nantz, will become a must listen for fans each week.”

Romo, who turns 37 this month, injured his back last preseason and ended up losing his starting job to rookie Dak Prescott. Prescott went on to throw for 3,667 yards and 23 touchdowns, leading the Cowboys to the NFC East title and winning the Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. The injury left his status with the team in doubt and spurred Romo to evaluate his options.

“When you think about the NFL, two of the most iconic brands are the Dallas Cowboys and CBS Sports,” Romo said in a statement. “Going from one legendary team to another as I begin the next phase of my career is a dream come true. I have always known that once my playing career was over I wanted to become a broadcaster. I am ecstatic for the opportunity to work with Jim as I learn the craft and convey to fans my passion for this great game.”

The Cowboys have released Romo at the QB’s request. This allows him to play for any NFL team if he ever opts to come back. The other option would have been for Dallas to place Romo on the reserve/retired list, which would have meant the Cowboys retained his NFL rights. 

There had been numerous reports about the team releasing Romo last month but he remained with the team, with reports also suggesting that Romo was on the trading block.

“We wish Tony and his family nothing but the best,” said Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones in a statement. “As an organization, we did what he asked us to do in terms of his release, and we wanted to do what was ultimately in his best interest and in the best interest of his family.”

The Cowboys will designate Romo as a post-June 1 release. Romo was set to count for $24.7 million against the cap in 2017, and collect a $14 million base salary. This move allows them to split his salary over the next two seasons.

Romo has a career record of 78-49 as an NFL quarterback, throwing for 34,183 yards in 14 seasons, with 248 touchdowns to 117 interceptions. He is the third longest-tentured Cowboys player ever. His career marks are franchise records for passing yards and touchdowns.

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