The transcript of Tony Romo’s conference call with CBS:
On his new role as lead game analyst for CBS
Romo: It was a very difficult decision. I went back and forth a bunch of times … The decision had nothing do with the Texans and everything to do with CBS.
Knowing what I wanted to do the next 15, 20, 30 years, I felt it was the right decision at the right time. I’m really excited about the new challenge ahead. I didn’t come to this conclusion [without thought]. …
The competitive aspect gives me excitement to get up and go attack it.
I understand I’ll be in the background. It’s about the players. My hope is to make it enjoyable to watch, teach the game a little bit and teach things I can bring that hopefully people can enjoy.
I don’t expect it to be easy. I expect it to be difficult – no different than when I came to the NFL.
If you have any ability at all, you’ll at least achieve your potential.
For me, I got to go attack this just like football. One thing I’ve always felt is a strength of mine is my ability to learn. If I’m not very good right away, I hope it doesn’t take too long. And if not, I promise I’ll be spending 20 hours a day trying to figure it out.
It’s exciting. It’s exciting to do something that’s a challenge I’ll have to go compete at and learn. It reminds me really of my rookie year when you don’t know anything and have to go learn the game.
For me, there’s a lot of strategy involved just like going to work the quarterback position. I like that challenge. I think it’s going to be enjoyable trying.
Romo: I don’t know that the competitive part will ever go away. For athletes that’s going to always be there … I think we all understand there’s a shelf life. But as we learned with Brett Favre, that shelf life can obviously take on a life of its own.
I’d also argue that for me, I’m a person who really likes to attack things [or] I really can’t sleep at night. If I’m not a good broadcaster, it’s going to be difficult.
[If] all of a sudden, you’re not very good? It’s going to be a lot of people counting on you to do something well. That weighs on you and makes you want to be good.
On leaving the field
Romo: I have a family. I have kids. If this wasn’t something I was excited about, I wouldn’t make this decision. If I’m not very good, I can tell you I won’t be sleeping very well.
As long as you have something to attack, enjoy and be good at it, it’s not going to be the same as on the field but I could argue I feel I’ll be just as [fulfilled].
On what it’s like to be a football player
Romo: When you’re a football player in life, there’s nothing else in life. If you win games, you’re great. That’s your identity. If you lose, that’s your identity.
People go down that path all the times and before you know it, you’re so far down. When I sat and took time to really dissect, I came to the conclusion that hopefully my identity when I’m 80 is I played football for the Cowboys, did other things, was a good dad.
That’s all-encompassing. I tried to work the balancing and it was so consuming at times.
I know my nature, I know my competitive side. If I get in front of some of those teams, I’m going to be enticed to go play. I know that’s going to be there.
I also know what I got from CBS now is just the same way.
How did Jerry Jones and Tony Romo go about this decision?
Romo: Jerry was amazing during this. I know sometimes it didn’t look like it from the outside. There were some times when things got maybe a day or two different than what we thought but he really was in my corner. The stuff he said publicly about doing me right? He really did.
He’ll always be in my life and I’ll always be in his.
On reasons for leaving play
Romo: I do like the aspect of being able to spend time with your kids but that wasn’t the only reason. It was part of it. Health was a part of it. And the closer I got, it was an exciting opportunity.
Will you be biased toward Cowboys?
Romo: For a while there’s no question I’m going to want them to succeed. There’s a part of my job that’s going to be impartial.
I don’t think I’m going to do anything that’s out of the ordinary. I might accidentally have an emotional “ooh, good throw there.” For the most part, what I see, I’m going to talk about it.
I’m not sure everyone knows Terrance Williams is one of the best blocking receivers in the NFL.
I will be fine critiquing players. That’s part of the position. In some ways I enjoy talking about what’s right and wrong. It’s not all going to be good, not all going to be bad.
I think I’ll be fine. At the same time,I think you always want to root for the team you played for.
On his future, a possible return to NFL
Romo: I’m making this decision with the choice to be able to play tomorrow. It’s not that different than [it will be in] the fall.
I don’t envision coming out. But I’ve also seen enough things [that] happen in life change. Do I envision getting some calls? Absolutely.
For me, the reality is, that’s going to be happen. I don’t think it’s going to be that hard of a decision. I’m going to get in the booth, like it, it’ll be a challenge.
You never say never. I tell you it’s about 99 percent. If for some crazy reason Sean decided to fire me in Week 12…
Some QBs probably won’t like it because there will be a little bit of information given out but hopefully it’ll be the good kind.
Reflecting on football
Romo: It creates these bonds you really don’t get to duplicate all the time.
I have no ill will in any capacity. Stuff happens in life. That’s kind of what happened last year. Obviously I was disappointed in not being able to lead this. I expressed that during the season. For me, you move on to the next phase and I’ll attack it in every bit like I attacked the last phase.
It’s a great opportunity to get excited. A lot of times for athletes … there’s two deaths: the one in real life and the one when you give up the game. I’m pretty excited right now and not thinking about it. I’m lucky and happy to have the ability to be excited about this right now.
On Tony Romo’s fit as an analyst
CBS chairman Sean McManus (paraphrased): Super Bowl 49 in Phoenix. McManus asked what Romo thought about game. Romo spent 10 minutes analyzing game, Marshawn Lynch, what Brady needed to do vs. Seahawks.
“He actually even said he thought Malcolm Butler would make a big play with seconds to go… no, that part’s a joke.”
Will Tony be better in Year 2 than Year 1?
McManus: “Yes I think he will but if we didn’t have this faith in Tony, we wouldn’t be taking this risk.”
Published by: Nicco Vocaturo