Tony Romo opted to pursue a career in broadcasting with CBS Sports rather than chasing a Super Bowl ring with a team other than the Dallas Cowboys earlier this month.
Romo has gotten hundreds of texts and calls congratulating him on his 14-year career with the Cowboys, and the Dallas Mavericks are honoring him tonight as he’ll suit up and be on the bench for tonight’s game against the Denver Nuggets.
Romo stuck mostly to basketball during a brief news conference, but touched on what this past week has been like since his retirement. Romo knows part of his football legacy will be winning only two playoff games and not advancing to the NFC Championship or Super Bowl.
“I guess it just makes you feel you accomplished something in some ways ‘cause we all know I feel like I left something out there that I always wanted to accomplish,” Romo said. “I’ve got to live with that. That’s part of playing sports. It doesn’t always go the way you expect. You can put everything into it and sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. But it doesn’t mean you can be OK with it.
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“So this week has been special in the sense that people have made me feel that they appreciated me, that they enjoyed me playing and being their quarterback, and that it meant something to them. They wanted to root for me and they were passionate about it. I can’t say thank you enough, it really is been a very special week.”
Romo, who turns 37 later this month, walked away from the Cowboys as the franchise leader in passing yards (34,154), passing touchdowns (247), passer rating (97.1), completion percentage (65.3) and most 3,000-yard passing seasons (seven).
But Romo hadn’t played a full 16-game season since 2012, and had broken bones in three of the last five games he played. Rookie Dak Prescott emerged as the starting quarterback last season.
Romo hasn’t held a formal news conference with the Cowboys, and Tuesday was his first time meeting with local reporters in person since his retirement.
Asked if he would use the Mavericks game as a way to say “thank you” to DFW sports fans, Romo said: “Yeah, I think it’s just nice that hopefully some of the fans get a chance to cheer you on and see again. Dallas has meant so much to me and my family. The Cowboys have obviously have been my life for 14 years. Time flies. I know that.
“I’ve been at, I can’t even think the number of Mavs games supporting them, so I am passionate about them and I always will be. They’re just a class organization through and through, and the relationships I have have been meaningful for me and I think it only just grew from this.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is expected to attend the game, as well as former teammates. Garrett and Romo haven’t spoken since the end of the season, and a source told the Star-Telegram’s Clarence E. Hill Jr. that Romo felt let down by Garrett for not giving him a chance to win the starting quarterback job back in the middle of last season.
Romo said he appreciated having Garrett and his teammates in attendance.
“I’m excited,” Romo said. “Just the fact that those guys want to come support you, I think I’m going to get more street cred for being on the bench with the Mavs than actually playing for the Cowboys with those guys. So see how this plays out, but I’m excited. I think it’s neat just to be able to have their support. It means a lot.”