Not having postseason glory served as the biggest obstacle in Romo’s decision to walk away from the game last offseason. But, in the end, Romo decided he wasn’t going to chase a championship forever and landed as the top analyst for CBS Sports.
Romo’s buddy, Jason Witten, is facing a similar decision this offseason. Should he play a 16th season in hopes of finally reaching a Super Bowl, or should he become the lead analyst on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football"?
“It’s very difficult. I think that’s the biggest challenge walking away is that you didn’t accomplish the ultimate goal that you set out for,” said Romo, who shot a 5-over 77 in a local U.S. Open qualifier at Gleneagles Country Club on Monday.
"That’s something that’s hard. I don’t think you ever really – that’s never something you’re OK with. I just think you have to make choices with where you’re at in life and what’s going on around you. Your family at your side, they’re a big part of those decisions that you make. I think that you could chase that thing forever and it might be the next year, but it might be 10 years away. It’s tough decision."
If Witten decides to head to the broadcast booth, which is expected, Romo feels it’ll be a smooth transition. Romo garnered praised in how seamless his transition was from the playing field to the broadcast booth, and believes Witten would make similar strides.
Witten has been the unquestioned leader of the Cowboys’ locker room for the last decade. But Witten has yet to make a final decision.
"Jason's going to do well," Romo said. "He's as hardworking a guy as you're going to find. He'll be well-prepared for whatever environment he decides to be a part of next year."
Romo knows Witten’s place among the greats is secured. Witten’s numbers – 1,152 catches, 12,448 receiving yards, 239 games, 11 Pro Bowls – speak for themselves and his impact off the field is just as great.
"You can’t really put a number on what Jason Witten has done or meant," Romo said. "He’s done really everything a Cowboy could do that you guys see, but also behind closed doors just within the facility and with the team.
"He’s the classic example every coach will use for everyone to follow. For every rookie, for every veteran he’s the guy that everyone’s going to look to and try to emulate. I think that standard will be with the Cowboys long after he’s gone. I don’t think he even understands yet that that’s what he put in place there is a standard of really just your routine and excellence day to day that every kid has to abide by now. He really was that guy."