Tony Romo’s decision to retire from the NFL rather than find a new team with the Cowboys moving forward with Dak Prescott surprised many. Just as surprising was CBS hiring Romo to be their new lead analyst, booting Phil Simms out of the booth and inserting Romo alongside Jim Nantz from Day 1.
On Sunday, Romo made his debut and showed why CBS was so willing to throw him into their top broadcast immediately. The former All-Pro brought a different perspective to the game than what fans are accustomed to getting from analysts as he was confident in bringing analysis, not just after a play, but before it.
On numerous occasions Romo would call out what was going to happen and, sure enough, what Romo predicted would come to life on the field. It was impressive and seemed to take Nantz aback a bit, which is understandable considering he’d been alongside Simms for so long.
The best of all of them is when Romo bet Nantz $5 that a run to the left was coming. There are plenty of analysts that know the game inside and out and can break down a play as its happening and right after. However, there are very few that are either capable of or willing to call it out before hand. Romo brought his perspective as a quarterback and his knowledge of trends and defenses to the booth and gave the viewers a tremendous amount of insight.
Sometimes, he’d just notice what a “kill, kill” call was going to mean, but he’d also expound upon what he was seeing and let the viewer in on what the reads would be. That was never more apparent than on the goal line when he explained that if the safety crept down into the box, Derek Carr would turn and fire to Amari Cooper to exploit the 1-on-1 matchup he was in. While it wasn’t a fade as he called exactly, as soon as the safety dropped, Carr whipped around and fired the slant at Cooper.
Of all the debuts from Sunday in the NFL, the most impressive rookie showing was probably Romo in the booth. Whether it was simply how noticeable the upgrade was over Simms or the fact that he was actually bringing insight and analysis to the game, he was a pleasant surprise and a welcome addition to the Sunday NFL viewing experience.