It seems we have reached a resolution to the Tony Romo saga, as this morning it was reported that Romo will retire to pursue a career in broadcasting, with CBS, FOX, and NBC all reportedly interested.
It sounds like Romo will wind up with CBS, however, as the Sports Business Journal reports that he will join CBS and replace Phil Simms in the booth with Jim Nantz as CBS’ number one broadcasting crew.
His back injury reportedly played a role in his decision to step away, but there are still those who think he could still return. NFL Media’s Jane Slater reported that “if [the] Cowboys ever REALLY needed him, he'd consider coming back,” while ESPN’s Todd Archer and Adam Schefter reported that an NFL executive texted that "Romo is now every team's emergency backup QB in case your starter gets hurt."
If he’s really done, however, it has been a terrific 14-year career for a guy who entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2003 and retires as the all-time leader in Cowboys franchise history in passing yards and touchdowns, among other categories. He played in 156 games and started 127 of them, completing 65.3% of his passes for 34,183 yards (7.9 yards per attempt), 248 touchdowns, and 117 interceptions for a passer rating of 97.1 (which is the fourth-best in NFL history and would be first among retired players). He made four Pro Bowls, had four 4,000 yard passing seasons, and four seasons of 30+ touchdown passes.
While this is a big NFL story, it also has quite a bit of significance to the Indianapolis Colts, and here’s why: if Romo stays retired, then he obviously won’t be quarterbacking the Houston Texans in 2017. All along it seemed likely that the Cowboys, with Dak Prescott in place as the starter, would have to cut Romo since no team was willing to trade for him knowing that fact, and the Texans seemed to be the frontrunners to sign Romo if/when he hit the open market.
The Texans traded Brock Osweiler this offseason simply to get rid of him and his contract, freeing them up to pursue Romo. Houston has a very good defense and capable offensive weapons, but they’re missing a quarterback. As the Colts have faltered the past two years the Texans have won the AFC South in each of the last two seasons, but they have been a quarterback away from truly contending in the NFL. A healthy Romo would have given them that, which wouldn’t have been good news for the Colts and the other AFC South teams.
Now, however? The Texans are left with a ton of question marks at the quarterback position. Right now on the roster are Tom Savage as the likely starter and Brandon Weeden as the backup. Savage has played in five games and started two, completing 60.9% of his passes for 588 yards (6.4 yards per attempt), zero touchdowns, and an interception, with a passer rating of 74.9. Weeden has played in 34 games and started 26, completing 57.9% of his passes for 6,462 yards (6.7 yards per attempt), 31 touchdowns, 30 interceptions, and has a passer rating of 76.0. Neither of those are great options. So what do the Texans do? They could perhaps look at some of the other free agent quarterbacks, like Colin Kaepernick or Jay Cutler, to see what they could offer, or they could really target the position in the draft. Either way, they’re not in a great situation for the short-term at the game’s most important position.