Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is retiring from football and moving into the broadcast booth, league sources told Todd Archer and Adam Schefter of ESPN. The decision comes as the Cowboys were planning to release the veteran on Tuesday.
As Romo’s divorce from the Cowboys was approaching, league broadcasters such as FOX, CBS, and NBC were rumored to be pursuing the charismatic quarterback for a feature role in the booth. Just last week, CBS was believed to be eyeing Romo as a replacement for their lead analyst, Phil Simms. Now, it appears Romo can choose which broadcast team to next suit up for.
The Cowboys will move forward with a younger, cheaper option as their No. 1 quarterback in Dak Prescott and will designate Romo as a post-June 1 release to reduce his cap hit from $24.7 million to $10.7 million in 2017, according to Schefter and Archer. The cap hit would be $8.9 million in 2018. The move frees up $14 million in valuable cap space.
Romo could have resumed his playing career elsewhere and likely could have found himself another starting role, but his decision to retire came down to health, ESPN reports. The soon-to-be 37-year-old has battled a number of serious injuries over the years, including back and collarbone ailments that cut short his past two seasons.
The Denver Broncos and Houston Texans were rumored to be interested in signing Romo, but refused to trade for him. The news that Romo would have been released Tuesday but instead opted to retire will have ramifications for both teams. The Texans traded their 2016 starter – Brock Osweiler – to the Cleveland Browns and have yet to name a replacement for this season.
Romo had been a Cowboy for 14 years and a starter for 10. He leaves the game with 34,183 passing yards, 248 touchdowns, and 117 interceptions. But he will likely be defined by his poor postseason record. Romo was only able to take the Cowboys to the playoffs in four seasons, compiling a 2-4 postseason record and never reaching the conference championship round.
His playoff resume is highlighted by his botched hold of an extra point that allowed the Seattle Seahawks to a 21-20 wild-card game win in the 2006 season.
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