Tuesday was a day of changes for the Dallas Cowboys, quarterback Tony Romo, CBS Sports and Phil Simms. Romo retired from football and joined CBS as their top football booth analyst, replacing Simms.
The Cowboys announced they were releasing Romo with an effective date of June 1, ending months of speculation that the 14-year veteran would either be traded or sign on with another team as a free agent.
CBS announced their plans to break up their top broadcasting duo of Simms and Jim Nantz after twelve years and replace Simms with Romo, who has little to no experience in the booth.
“Tony has been one of the NFL’s biggest stars for the past decade, and we are thrilled to welcome him to CBS Sports,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said in a statement released by the network on Tuesday. “He will bring the same passion, enthusiasm and knowledge that he displayed on the field to the broadcast booth. He brings a fresh and insightful perspective to our viewers having just stepped off the field. We know Tony will quickly develop into a terrific analyst, and alongside Jim Nantz, will become a must-listen for fans each week.”
More than Simms? I know he was rubbing a lot of viewers the wrong way, getting lambasted on social media for years, but the truth was he was one of the hardest-working analysts in the business. Bumping him for a novice such as Romo is a cold slap across the face. But CBS says they are not cutting ties with Simms, just reassigning him.
“As we welcome Tony, we want to acknowledge Phil Simms, who served as our lead NFL analyst for nearly 20 years,” McManus said. “Phil has been a very important part of our coverage since the NFL returned to CBS in 1998. His strong opinions, coupled with his tremendous knowledge and passion for the National Football League, has created a unique broadcasting style making him one of the best analysts to ever call the game. We are discussing with Phil his future role with CBS Sports. We cannot thank him enough for the way he has represented himself and CBS Sports during his tenure as CBS’s lead NFL analyst.”
Romo is naturally excited about his new gig. After 14 years in the NFL and a long history of injuries and big game shortfalls, he finally saw greener pastures. CBS was not alone in seeking out his services. FOX was reported to be in the mix to ink Romo as well, but CBS’ offer to put him to the front of the line won out.
“When you think about the NFL, two of the most iconic brands are the Dallas Cowboys and CBS Sports,” the 36 year-old Romo said. “Going from one legendary team to another as I begin the next phase of my career is a dream come true. I have always known that once my playing career was over I wanted to become a broadcaster. I am ecstatic for the opportunity to work with Jim as I learn the craft and convey to fans my passion for this great game.”
Hey, maybe he’ll work out. No one thought Simms would, and he has a 20-year run.