Until Tuesday, the general consensus was that Tony Romo still had several years of football left in him – either in Houston or Denver or somewhere else. But in hindsight, with Romo heading into broadcasting, is it all that surprising that he didn’t want to start over at 37?
“There’s really only one reason not to retire – and that’s to win a Super Bowl,” former Cowboys quarterback Danny White said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “What are the odds of that happening? What are the odds of him getting on a team that is going to go all the way and win the Super Bowl? It’s pretty low. It’s just a smart thing to do. And knowing Tony, the kind of guy that he is, it just makes all the sense in the world when you think about it. I’m happy for him. He had a great, great career, and the microscope that he lived under for the last 10 years – I was the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, but it wasn’t anything like it is now with social media and fantasy football and everybody’s got a stake in the game.
“That’s going to be the hard thing for Tony now,” White continued, “to go from being a recluse, which you just about have to be, to being very outspoken and talk about how you feel and get excited. As a quarterback, you’re trying not to get excited. You’re trying to keep your cool and your emotions in check. Now here he is (doing just the opposite). That’s going to be the hardest thing for him. Tony’s a bright guy. He’s going to learn when to stop talking. He’s going to learn when the breaks come. He’s going to learn all that very quickly. His challenge is to change his demeanor and actually get excited and let people feel that excitement that listen to him.”
But will Romo be able to do that? Does he have that personality to succeed in his new gig at CBS?
“Yeah, he does,” White said. “He does. If you get to know him off the field, if you get to know him on the golf course a little bit, he’s got a lot more of that than people think he does. He’s a lot more talkative. When you live that lifestyle, people almost think that you’re not very bright because you have to avoid people and publicly to have any kind of a lifestyle at all. He is a bright guy, No. 1. And No. 2, he is a fun guy off the field where you get him away from all the cameras and all the people that are after him. He’s a fun guy. All you have to do is watch him and look at him smile, and you can tell there’s that little bit of mischievousness inside of Tony. He’s a little bit of a prankster, and he’s got that in him, so I think he’ll be fine. But it’s still going to take some time for him to let that out when he’s sitting behind a microphone in a broadcast booth.”
White, 65, played for Dallas from 1976-1988 and led the Cowboys to a Super Bowl title. For that reason alone, many Cowboys fans consider him a better quarterback than Romo.
When asked who was better – Romo or White – White didn’t go there. In fact, he doesn’t like going there with any quarterback.
“You can’t answer that question unless all the variables are the same,” White said. “If you’re playing behind the same offensive line with the same receivers against the same defense in the same conditions – unless everything else is equal, there is no way to say who is a better quarterback. You can look at the numbers, and I can make an argument that Tony Romo was a better quarterback than Roger Staubach or than Troy Aikman or than me. I can also make an argument the other way using the numbers – using different numbers.”
That’s fair, but how will fans remember Romo? What is his legacy?
“I think his legacy will be that the made that team a contender when they weren’t a contender without him – because he made plays,” White said. “He and maybe Aaron Rodgers, his ability to make something out of nothing was uncanny. He got himself out of more jams – I just sat there in amazement (and wondered), ‘How did he get out of that – and not only get out of that, but throw a touchdown pass?’ His legacy is going to be that he threw more completions, more touchdown passes, more yardage – he’s the No. 1 passer statistically in Dallas Cowboys history – and it’s mainly because he started for 10 years. No other Cowboy quarterback has ever done that. But I think the thing that separates him was his ability to make plays when there wasn’t a play there to be made – just in amazing, amazing fashion, even (against) guys who are much more athletic than he is or was. Is. He didn’t die. Everybody’s acting like Tony died. Well, he hasn’t died. Tony’s going to be around, and we’re going to be watching Tony for a long time.”