AROUND THE NFL

Tony Romo Could Be Facing Trouble In The Broadcast Booth

After 14 seasons, 34,183 yards, 248 touchdowns, 117 interceptions, and two playoff victories, Tony Romo is calling it a career. This is somewhat of a surprise considering the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans are playoff-caliber teams who need the right quarterback to put them in championship contention.

Romo entering broadcasting is not a surprise at all. He is articulate, intelligent, and handsome enough to include a pop star on his dating resume. The surprise is CBS hiring him as their number one color commentator, pairing him with longtime friend Jim Nantz and replacing two-time Super Bowl champion and veteran color commentator Phil Simms.

Romo spent thirteen seasons as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback. That may not be enough to prepare him for what he’s stepping into.

Charles Davis, Fox NFL analyst and the voice of Madden NFL 17, began his broadcast career in a completely different way than Romo.

“Now, the one thing you have to be careful of is you’re starting at a super-high level,” Davis said. “So, your mistakes are really glaring. When you start like me when you’re a nobody, and you beat the bushes and you call high school games and Pop Warner games and Little League Baseball and women’s volleyball and the whole thing.

“You’re doing that on a regional basis and you’re making mistakes and it’s not really the same glare. I don’t have {Sports Illustrated media reporter) Richard Dietsch climbing all over me when I’m calling a Division II women’s basketball game, but it gives me a chance to get my reps without all that. If you’re at the highest level, you get dinged right from the start.”

Romo is stepping into a seat that hasn’t been kind to the lacks of Boomer Esiason, a former NFL MVP, as well as Simms.

Simms was part of NBC’s main broadcast team when they covered Super Bowls XXX and XXXII.  In addition to calling NFL games, Simms called Weightlifting at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and was a sideline reporter for NBA games.

Esiason called World League of American Football (later known as NFL Europe) games while he was still playing. He called Monday Night Football games on ABC before being let go reportedly because of a personal conflict with Al Michaels. He currently is an in-studio analyst for The NFL Today as well doing Monday Night Football on Westwood One and co-hosting Boomer and Carton in the Morning on CBS Radio

Esiason took a more traditional path to the highest levels of broadcasting than Romo. Simms stepped right into the highest level of NFL broadcasting. Both players were more accomplished in their football careers than Romo (Simms won two Super Bowls, Esaison was NFL MVP and at least got to a Super Bowl).

Both players were roasted by the media and fans for their performances (or lack thereof) in the broadcast booth, playing experience notwithstanding.

CBS waited until Tuesday to make the announcement, as they didn’t want to overshadow their coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship Game between Gonzaga and North Carolina. They also had to make the announcement before they begin coverage of The Masters on Wednesday. Speaking of The Masters, Romo could possibly make his broadcast debut this weekend at Augusta National.

Romo may very succeed in his new endeavor. He may also fall flat on his face. The criticism he faces if he does a poor job calling games will be nothing like the vitriol he received when he was calling signals for the franchise that used to be known as America’s Team.

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