Troy Aikman is going into his 17th season in the Fox Sports broadcast booth. He has become regarded as one of the top NFL analysts after his Hall of Fame career with the Dallas Cowboys.
Former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is hoping to make a similar seamless transition from the field to the CBS Sports broadcast booth. Romo walked away from the game this offseason as the Cowboys’ franchise leader in passing yards (34,183), passing touchdowns (248), passer rating (97.1) and most 3,000-yard passing seasons (seven).
Aikman and Romo haven’t talked about the transition, but Aikman discussed the difficulties and nuances of becoming a respected analyst.
“The game has gotten harder to call for an analyst because the speed of the game has gotten faster and it gives you less time in between snaps,” Aikman said. “So you’ve got to be real concise. I think a lot of guys go into this business, coaches and former players, anticipate really being able to educate the viewer on a lot of things and there’s just not time for that. Whether it’s between plays or because there’s a commercial breaks and you’re rolling in a lot of different packages, so from that standpoint it’ll be probably a little bit of a surprise to him how little time he has.
“And I know that it’s a challenge for him coming in never having done it before and then having to do two games in one week. So that’ll be the biggest hurdle for him, trying to get prepared for two games. That’s not an easy task.”
Romo will make his regular-season broadcast debut on the Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans game on Sept. 10. Romo will be on the New England at New Orleans broadcast in Week 2 followed by the Cincinnati at Green Bay game in Week 3.
Romo will do his first two-game broadcast week in Week 4. He’ll call the Bears at Packers on Thursday night, and then the Raiders-Broncos game on Sunday.
Aikman, meanwhile, couldn’t believe he’s already going into Year 17. He joked that he may have gone a different route had his Ford dealerships fared better.
“It does seem impossible. I can’t believe it,” Aikman said. “I really thought I’d do it for a couple years and then figure out what I would want to do. Maybe if my car business had worked out a little better, I wouldn’t be broadcasting but you know it’s a great job. I really enjoy it.
“Even like I was as a player this time of year, you start getting excited about the start of the season again and it is exciting because there are so many teams that you think are going to be good, they may not be good. Then teams you don’t think are going to be good and they are. So it’s fun just following it early.”