Twitter blows up with praise for former Cowboys star

Tony Romo and son Hawkins, 5, share a laugh during a wide receiver drill June 21 at Burlington High School. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)

 

By Mike Ramczyk

sports@southernlakesnewspapers.com

To the average National Football League fan and especially those in the Burlington area, it may have felt a bit strange to watch the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night without No. 9, Tony Romo, on the sideline.

But football’s loss is television’s gain.

In his CBS debut as a football color commentator, Romo, 37, a 1998 Burlington High School graduate, was on fire with guessing plays before they were called and offering insight only a potential Hall of Fame quarterback could.

Longtime play-by-play Jim Nantz got to a point where he was asking “What do you see here?” and “What’s going to happen here, Tony?” before each play of Sunday’s Tennessee Titans-Oakland Raiders game from Tennessee.

Romo showed the exuberance of a kid in a candy store, and he admitted he had “goosebumps” since it was NFL Opening Day.

He was able to read where Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was going to throw the ball, and he called out blitzes and run plays before they happened.

Twitter showed overwhelming support for the retired Romo, who recently welcomed his third son, Jones McCoy Romo, on Aug. 23.

“Romo’s ability to predict plays based on pre-snap moves will separate him from every other color guy. Some of the coolest analysis I’ve seen,” said Evan Silva, a senior football editor for Rotoworld.

On Monday, Romo received praise on the radio as well, with callers flooding the airwaves of ESPN 540 in support of the local boy.

Seemingly flabbergasted by Romo’s ability to say exactly what was going to happen before it happened, Nantz flat-out asked Romo how he was doing it.

“Fourteen years of playing in the National Football League,” Romo said with a smile.

 

Cowboys keep rolling

While Romo showed his TV chops, often breaking down the inside knowledge of what a quarterback was thinking on a given play, his former team, the Cowboys, showed why they’re once again favorites to win the NFC East.

Second-year quarterback Dak Prescott tossed a score to Jason Witten, and Ezekiel Elliott ran for 104 yards in a 19-3 beating of the New York Giants.

Romo football fans still hold a place deep in their hearts hoping he could return to the field someday, should a star quarterback go down with a serious injury.

But with a promising second career, why would the former Demon star football, basketball and golf athlete risk another injury?

He’s got it too good.

Sure, the jokes came, but that’s to be expected online.

Apparently, the booth collapsed on Romo and injured him, or he broke his hand while holding the microphone, playful jabs at his recent collarbone and back injuries.

But more often than not, it was praise for Romo, a guy who has a special ability to see plays and anticipate action before it happens.

“As an NFL analyst I used to try to explain how #GraduateLevel Romo was, but people pushed back. Now you will get to hear his football genius,” said Trent Dilfer, another former NFL quarterback who became a big-time analyst for ESPN.

Make sure to tune in Sunday at noon on CBS, as Romo and Nantz call a matchup between two of the greatest signal-callers in NFL history, Tom Brady’s New England Patriots and Drew Brees’ New Orleans Saints.

Romo’s stories of battles against those two alone should be riveting, let alone his propensity to analyze the game.

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