Tony Romo‘s transformation from media fodder to media personality continued on Wednesday.
One day removed from confirming his release from the Cowboys and impending departure from football, Romo called into Dallas sports radio station 105.3 The Fan to talk about the machinations of his decision, the appeal of joining CBS as a color commentator and the underlying drama of it all.
“It gets to a point where you start to think about it, sulk in it, pray about it, you lay in bed and talk to your wife, talk to your dad, you talk to the closest people you’ve come to trust over the years and you just try to evaluate everything and make the best decision possible,” Romo explained. “That’s what you do. As it got closer and as I got all the way in, it became CBS, and now when I look back, it seems like an easy decision. But it took a while to get there. Now, moving forward, I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’ve got to go and start from ground zero, just try to figure out how to build my way up and become someone who’s good at their craft.”
One thing Romo didn’t harp on was the “R-word,” as the former Cowboys quarterback referred to it. On Tuesday, Romo left the door slightly ajar for a return to football, saying he was “99 percent” done playing.
Goaded by tricky questions about whether he was fully, 100-percent, super duper retired on Wednesday, Romo beat around the bush, joking at one point, “I wonder if I’m going to get this 60 more times over the next two weeks.”
“I literally had the opportunity to continue to keep playing football. I’m choosing not to. I think that’s a pretty easy statement when it comes to what I’m doing,” he continued. “I know the ‘retired’ word is like this word that all of a sudden has 90 different meanings, but it just feels like you’re done playing football. You want to call it retired, you want to call it whatever you want, I’m moving on to talking about it. I just don’t envision that ever changing.
“I’m very excited, I’m very happy and I’m really lucky to be in this situation that I get to go into and it’s a privilege to be able to talk about that game. Not everybody gets that opportunity so I don’t take that for granted. I feel like I’m going to be, hopefully, one of those people who can use that as motivation to be great at something else. I’ve just got to go attack it and I’m excited to do that.”
If Tuesday’s conference call and Wednesday’s radio interview were spring training warm-ups for Romo’s young broadcasting career, then he’s ready for the majors. Having been in the limelight as Number One Cowboy for a decade, Romo sounded comfortable over the airwaves, dodging dicey queries and telling relatable stories from his home life in equal measure.
His best anecdote dealt with his four-year-old son responding to his retirement with his priorities in check: “Great. You gonna be around more? You can buy me LEGOs.”
This is the Tony Romo that exists now, so it’s best that we get used to it. The one that explains which way the ball breaks on the 14th at Augusta; the one that spends more time getting tackled by his kids in the backyard than by Jason Pierre-Paul at Jerrah World; and the one that is wholly comfortable with never playing another snap in the NFL.
Just don’t ask if he’s retired. That’s one answer Romo won’t give.