Tony Romo was a really good, almost great, quarterback, for 13 years with the Dallas Cowboys.
He may be an even better football analyst.
Romo was in the booth with Jim Nantz for the CBS broadcast of the New England Patriots’ win over the New Orleans Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday evening—just his second game as a color commentator.
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He is putting his vast NFL experience to good use already. The Washington Post noted how in the second quarter of the Patriots’ 36-20 victory, Romo predicted that Drew Brees would throw a fade to Brandon Coleman for a touchdown.
Call him Romo or Nostradamus, because Brees indeed threw a fade to No. 16, Coleman, for the TD.
Romo also brings a sense of freshness and fun to the broadcast booth. There was a moment during Sunday evening’s game when he and Nantz were discussing the longevity of Brees and Tom Brady, and how their diets have allowed them to play toward the age of 40 (and beyond it, in Brady’s case). The broadcast cut away to a picture of Romo with a big pile of dessert. It’s that kind of levity that sometimes seems to be missing from Fox Sports’ coverage with Troy Aikman, one of Romo’s great predecessors in a Cowboys jersey.
Undoubtedly Romo is helped by his novelty. It’s going to be much harder to entertain when he’s a season into his career as a color guy, rather than two games. But he’s off to a fine start, which apparently includes an ability to get inside the head of football’s indecipherable genius Bill Belichick.
Late in the fourth quarter, with the game already won, the Patriots did something odd on defense: lining up for a blitz with five rushers on their own ten-yard line. Brees promptly hit Coby Fleener for an ultimately meaningless touchdown, unless you were Belichick or Romo. “Analytics,” Romo explained in quotes reported by SB Nation. “When they [other teams] go through it next week, they’re going to want to say, ‘On what percentage do they play man and rush five?’ He [Belichick] just added to that number right there.”
Romo, the good-to-great QB, looks like he has another potentially more successful career to come.