Through all the success the Dallas Cowboys had in 2016 (13-3, NFC East Champions), there seemingly was always a cloud hanging over the team in the likes of Tony Romo. The long time “franchise” quarterback of “America’s Team” was now a highly paid backup to rookie sensation Dak Prescott. When Tony Romo was injured in a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks the season was thought to have been lost. Again they were having to deal with question marks surrounding the teams offense as they have in the past with Tony Romo’s long rap sheet of injuries. The injury this time was a compression fracture in his back and was said to be out six to eight weeks. Since the injury occurred in the preseason, the Cowboys could only hope they would still be in the running for at least a playoff spot by the time he would return. Then in stepped the rookie from Mississippi State, Dak Prescott. He went under center with hope of keeping the Cowboys in contention midway through the season until Romo could return. Little did anyone expect, Prescott would lead the team to a 5-1 record heading into their bye week in week 7. His success led to the question of who is the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback? The Cowboys decided to continue with Prescott as the starter even with a healthy Romo on the sidelines. Prescott led the Cowboys to an NFC East Division title and a #1 seed in the playoffs. His success ended any and all debates of who will be the signal caller in Dallas. Romo announced earlier this week that he has decided to retire and accepted a broadcasting position with CBS, replacing Phil Simms.
Upon returning to the sidelines among all the team’s success, Romo held a press conference to announce it was Prescott’s team and that he earned the right to remain the starting quarterback. From that point on questions continued to swirl in Dallas about how they were going to move forward with Romo. Would he be traded? Would he be released? Would he come back in 2017 as a backup? In the owner’s suite the situation was still unknown as Jerry Jones had a publicly known strong relationship with Romo. Many speculated Jones would hold on to Romo beyond the 2016 season, and not just give him away via trade or grant him his release. Other reports stated Romo was willing to “help” the team in any way possible, whether that meant being traded or being released.
Towards the end of the 2016 season, suitors for Romo began to emerge. The Houston Texans, who made Brock Osweiler the highest paid quarterback in the offseason, benched Osweiler in favor of Tom Savage due to Osweiler’s performance. The Denver Broncos had two young quarterbacks on their depth chart, Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian, neither of which stood out as the next franchise quarterback. Both teams seemed like they had a need for a veteran signal caller. Romo didn’t say he did not want to play for the Texans or Broncos, instead Romo said that he could not pass up a great broadcasting opportunity such as the one that presented itself earlier this month working with CBS.
Although Romo is retiring with what seems to be an empty career, it remains to be seen if he will come back at a later time and un-retire. Why not? Otto Graham, Randall Cunningham, and Bret Favre all did it at the quarterback position. There will always be a chance Romo will come back and try to fulfill his career with a Super Bowl, but for now, he looks to stay un-injured in the broadcast booth and begin a new career. The highlight of this decision is that Romo will finally be going to the Super Bowl next February. CBS is broadcasting the Super Bowl this year and Jim Nantz and Romo will be the broadcast team.
Below is a list of the injuries Romo has experienced over his 13 seasons in Dallas, along with career statistics
13 seasons with Dallas (72-50)
97.1 passer rating
2008 – broken pinkie finger
2010- broken left collarbone
2011- broken rib/punctured lung
2013- ruptured disk
2014 Transverse fractures
2015 Broken Left Collarbone
2015 Broken Left Collarbone
2016 Compression fracture in preseason game