The 37 year-old will retire from pro football after 14 seasons and join CBS‘ announcing team, replacing longtime lead analyst Phil Simms. Romo will work alongside play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz, putting him in line to work with Nantz on CBS’ coverage of Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.
CBS announced Romo’s deal Tuesday, hours after it was first reported by Sports Business Journal.
“Tony has been one of the NFL’s biggest stars for the past decade, and we are thrilled to welcome him to CBS Sports,” said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus. “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.”
“When you think about the NFL, two of the most iconic brands are the Dallas Cowboys and CBS Sports,” said Romo. “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.”
The news comes after long speculation that Romo would retire from football after a 2016 preseason game against Seattle left him with a broken back, forcing him to remain on the sidelines for the majority of the season. He was replaced by quarterback Dak Prescott, who was named NFL’s offensive Rookie of the Year.
With Prescott under center, the Cowboys won a franchise-record 11 straight games before losing in the first round of the playoffs. Romo was able to participate in one game at the end of the season, throwing a touchdown pass against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys were expected to release Romo from his contract in the coming weeks, allowing him to pursue a deal with another team.
In setting a deal with CBS, Romo walks away from a lucrative potential free agent contract. Several NFL teams were expected to express interest in Romo, including the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos.
It remains unclear what Simms’ future role with CBS may be.
“As we welcome Tony, we want to acknowledge Phil Simms who served as our lead NFL analyst for nearly 20 years,” said McManus. “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.”