Tony Romo has officially ended his NFL career.

Tony Romo Retires From NFL to Head into Broadcasting

The veteran Dallas Cowboys quarterback, who turns 37 on April 21, announced on Tuesday that he is retiring from football after 14 years in the league, and now hopes to become a broadcaster, according to ESPN, who first reported the news.

Romo, a four-time Pro Bowler and all-time Cowboys leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns, cited his health and the importance of his family as his main reasons for stepping away from the game. Rumors had begun circulating early in the offseason about whether Romo would be released by the Cowboys or traded to another team as a free agent. The Houston Texans and Denver Broncos were among the teams reportedly interested in Romo.

“Tony Romo made the decision after this comes out, after consulting with those close to him, after examining his body and looking at where he is in his career, he decided to step away from football and embrace one of the broadcasting opportunities that he’s had for some time,” NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Good Morning Football on Tuesday.


A week of sports news in your in-box.
We find the sports news you need to know, so you don't have to.

The quarterback has suffered several injuries in recent years, collarbone and back injuries that held him to playing in just parts of five games over the last two seasons. After sustaining a back fracture last preseason against the Seattle Seahawks that foreced him to wear a brace, Dak Prescott took over as Dallas’s starter.

The Cowboys are expected to designate Romo as a post-June 1 release, to alleviate the blow to their salary cap this season. Instead of counting $24.7 million in 2017, Romo would count $10.7 million this year and $8.9 million in 2018. Dallas would gain $14 million in cap space, but this would not become available until June 2. Nevertheless, Romo’s last official day with the team is Tuesday.

Romo admitted how much he will miss football, despite the toll it took on his body.

“If you think for a second that I don’t want to be out there, than you’ve probably never felt the ecstasy of competing and winning,” he said. “That hasn’t left me. In fact, it may burn more now than ever. It’s not always easy to watch and I think anyone who has been in this position understands that.”

One NFL executive told ESPN via text message that “Romo is now every team’s emergency backup QB in case your starter gets hurt” and that those teams would have to “pay him to come out of ‘retirement.'”

According to, the quarterback has already received lucrative offers from several TV networks, including FOX, NBC and CBS, who is viewing Romo as a potential replacement for long-time analyst Phil Simms for their primetime Sunday games.

Romo signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Illinois in 2003. Following two seasons as a holder, he replaced Dallas’ previous starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe during a game against the New York Giants in the 2006 season.

That season, Romo completed 66 percent of his passes for 270 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his first NFL start — a 35-14 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Romo ended up taking the Cowboys, who were 3-3 under Bledsoe, to the playoffs in 2006.

In his first full season as Cowboys starter in 2007, Romo threw for a then-franchise record 4,211 yards — a mark he would pass twice more during his career — and a franchise record 36 touchdown passes. Dallas finished with the best record in the NFC (13-3), but were eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Romo’s 30 game-winning drives are seven more than fellow Cowboys legend Roger Staubach and nine more than Troy Aikman.

With Romo out, Tom Savage is now expected to become Houston’s starting quarterback, and former Dallas quarterback Brandon Weeden will serve as his backup.

Romo also holds team records for most 300-yard passing games (46), multiple touchdown pass games (79) and consecutive games with a touchdown pass (38). In 2012, he threw for a club-record 4,903 yards and on Oct. 6, 2013, against the Broncos, he threw for a franchise record 506 yards. He owns the NFL record with a touchdown pass in 41 straight road games.

In 2015, the Cowboys suffered after losing Romo to a left collarbone fracture against the Philadelphia Eagles that caused him to miss seven games. Romo broke his collarbone again in his second game back and he missed the final five contests as Dallas went 1-11 without him.

SEATTLE, WA – AUGUST 25: Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys warms up prior to the preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on August 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Read more about:

Leave a comment

Listen to the uInterview Podcast!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!