Romo called Brady’s retirement 24 hours before it sort-of-kind-of happened

The ex-Cowboys QB now nicknamed Romostradamus for predicting football futures wouldn’t be shocked if Brady returned after a year or 2 away. | From @ToddBrock24f7

Romostradamus did it again.

Tony Romo has made a name for himself in the CBS broadcast booth by calling out the football future before it actually happens on the field in front of him. The ex-Cowboys quarterback managed to pretty much nail the news of Tom Brady’s retirement a full 24 hours prior to the report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington that the seven-time Super Bowl champ was hanging it up.

[Ed. note: The retirement announcement was disputed by Brady’s agent shortly after the story broke; the reporters are standing by their report, suggesting maybe the news was leaked earlier than Brady wanted it to get out. Other reports say Brady hasn’t yet told the Buccaneers anything at all regarding next season. At the time of this writing, nothing would surprise when it comes to Brady.]

Romo and booth partner Jim Nantz appeared on CBS Mornings on Friday to preview the weekend’s conference championship action, and Romo was asked his thought on Brady’s future following his 22nd NFL season.

“I don’t know anything, no inside information. I don’t talk to Tom at all about this,” Romo said. “But this is kind of how I think he would retire. Just knowing him a little bit, it’s going to be quick and it’s going to be, ‘What? Whoa. Boom.’ It’s going to be a little bit of a shock. It’s not going to be this fairy-tale ending.”

That was more or less the reaction on Saturday when news broke that Brady was walking away after last weekend’s 30-27 loss to the Rams in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Romo opined that the loss may have actually made the decision easier for Brady. That riding off into the sunset wouldn’t be his style. That winning another Super Bowl ring this year would have only nudged him to come back to attempt an unprecedented third straight title.

Not that it was a wildly out-of-left-field prediction. Common sense said Brady’s retirement was coming sooner rather than later. Many observers wondered if last week’s loss might the end of the road for the man called “The GOAT.” Even Brady himself has openly flirted this week with the possibility of ending his playing career.

Now he has, according to those reports. But Romo also sees there being a chance that Brady- like many other seemingly-immortal sports stars- calls one last audible after some time away.

“I think, sneakily, there’s a chance that Tom Brady retires and may- I’m just saying- could come back in two years,” Romo said. “This is just crazy, but he’s like a bionic man. He is, right? He’s not hurt, he’s still playing great. He may need to refresh like [Michael] Jordan and go two years away, and maybe start another challenge. Because otherwise, he has nothing else to prove.”

Brady will no doubt have endless options for filling his free time once he makes his retirement official. But if he chooses to suit up one day down the road and give it another go as an-almost-50-year-old quarterback, remember that Romo called it before anyone.

[listicle id=691108]

[listicle id=692518]

[listicle id=692345]


DeMarcus Ware, Tony Romo headline 1st-year eligibles for 2022 Hall of Fame

The Cowboys will have three members inducted into the HoF this summer. Could more be on the way in 2022?

With the Pro Football Hall of Fame requiring candidates to be retired for at least five years before being considered for enshrinement, Saturday’s announcement for the Class of 2021 starts the clock for the next batch of eligibles. This year’s class had several easy decisions for inclusion; names such as Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson and Calvin Johnson. Those three will be enshrined along with Alan Faneca and John Lynch as the modern-era enshrinees as well as former Cowboys star Drew Pearson, Bill Nunn and Tom Flores from the senior, contributor and coach committees, respectively.

Next year though, it figures to be a harder decision on the first timers, though the Cowboys have two of the more familiar names. Defensive stud DeMarcus Ware and quarterback Tony Romo are both in their first years of eligibility after retiring following the 2016 season.

Ware is a four-time First-Team All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler, who left Dallas after nine seasons to finish his career with the Denver Broncos. The move worked as Ware was a member of the 2015 world champions.

Ware’s career stats closely resemble those of Jared Allen, a first-year finalist this year, but stunted by the star-studded class. Ware has 138.5 career sacks to Allen’s 136 and has a slightly higher Career AV of 128 to Allen’s 125.

Pro-Football-Reference’s Hall of Fame Monitor ranks Ware as the ninth-best OLB, with a score of 95.33. The average Hall of Fame OLB’s score is 106.19.

Romo will have a much less likely chance of inclusion in his first year or any year. His career was hampered by injuries and a lack of postseason wins is normally a death knell for the chances of most quarterbacks in the game. His role as the league’s best and brightest color commentator could lead to an eventual induction though as an overall contributor to the game.

Still, his career was impressive with over 34,000 passing yards and a lifetime 97.1 passer rating.  Romo’s post-career ceiling is likely going to be the Cowboys Ring of Honor, an honor fans will likely see given to Ware this coming fall.

Owner Jerry Jones believes the honor is a prerequisite for Cowboys players making it to the Hall of Fame and it will be interesting to see if Ware is added along with long-time safety Darren Woodson, who reached the Pro Football Hall of Fame Semifinalist round for the second time in 2021.

Other first-year eligibles in 2022 include WR Andre Johnson, WR Anquan Boldin, WR Steve Smith and DL Vince Wilfork.

[lawrence-related id=663116][listicle id=663009][lawrence-newsletter]

Former Cowboys QB Tony Romo named to College Football Hall of Fame

The latest honor for Dallas’s four-time Pro Bowl passer comes for his stellar career at Eastern Illinois University from 1999 to 2002.

Tony Romo is headed to the Hall of Fame. The College Football Hall of Fame, that is.

The 40-year-old ex-Cowboys quarterback will be included as part of the College Football Hall of Fame’s 2021 class in an announcement set for Monday. Romo’s CBS broadcast booth partner, Jim Nantz, broke the news during Sunday’s Bears-Saints playoff game.

According to the College Football Hall of Fame, only 0.02% of collegiate players and coaches ever earn this distinction. This was Romo’s second time being nominated.

Romo played quarterback for Eastern Illinois from 1999 to 2002. In 33 starts over three seasons, he threw for 7,816 yards and 82 touchdowns. He earned Ohio Valley Player of the Year honors all three seasons. His senior year, Romo was a consensus first-team All-American and won the Walter Payton Award, given to the best player in the nation in Division I-AA, now referred to as FCS. His No. 17 college jersey was retired at Eastern Illinois- the same alma mater of Saints head coach Sean Payton and current 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo- in 2009.

Romo was working from home during Sunday’s telecast, following COVID-19 protocols. After Nantz’s on-air announcement, Romo confessed that the commemorative ball marking his official Hall of Fame invitation had been delivered the day prior.

The four-time Pro Bowler was his usual self-deprecating self upon Nantz revealing the honor.

“Are you sure it’s me?” Romo quipped. “You didn’t mess up? It’s not somebody else here?”

Romo also shared that his sons had gotten to the ball first, before he realized what it was.

“That ball actually came to me yesterday, Jim,” the former Cowboy said. “And my kids grabbed it and started playing with it. I was like, ‘Hold on! Give me that back! I think that one might be important.'”

The College Football Hall of Fame is located in Atlanta. Romo and the rest of the 2021 class will be officially inducted during the 63rd National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on December 7, alongside the 2020 Hall of Fame Class (the 2020 event was postponed due to COVID-19).

[listicle id=661748]

[vertical-gallery id=661623]


Cowboys’ Jones has 2nd-worst win percentage among heavily-tenured GMs

Where does Dallas Cowboys Jerry Jones rank among NFL owners in 2020?

The easiest way to become an NFL General Manager is to just buy a team. That’s the path Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones took to the top. It worked out well for him early on mostly due to hitting a homerun with his first head coach Jimmy Johnson. Since then, it’s been tough sledding.

Despite taking a backseat in recent years to both his son Stephen and vice president of personnel Will McClay, the blame will always ultimately fall at the owner’s feet until they hoist another Lombardi Trophy. With that being the case, where does he rank among current GMs in the NFL? Mike Sando at The Athletic tried to figure that out. The list was broken down by tenure, with Jones falling in the first group, those with a decade or more on the job. Here’s his writeup:

The Cowboys won 63 percent of their games with three Super Bowl victories during the 1990s. They have won less than 52 percent of their games without reaching a Super Bowl since then, despite some successes in the draft. Jones earned a spot in the Hall of Fame on the strength of that 1990s success combined with his obvious business acumen, not for his accomplishments as a GM over the past couple decades. It’s no coincidence that the GMs with the worst won-lost records in this category own their teams.

It’s true that Jones has the second-worst record among his grouping, but it’s still .538 throughout the entirety of his NFL career. After all, people only keep their job that long if they’re successful or own the team. So where would Jones fall relative to the entirety of the NFL? Exactly in the middle at No. 16.

It becomes more dispiriting when looking at the amount of Pro Bowlers and First-Team All-Pros the Cowboys have selected since 1989, hitting at a rate near the top of the heap. His loyalty to Jason Garrett submarined the entirety of the last decade as well as the prime of former quarterback Tony Romo. Running the team like a family business might ruin the prime of Dak Prescott, too.

It’s time Jones heeds the words of another famous man with several facelifts by starting with the man in the mirror and asking him to change his ways.

[listicle id=660514][listicle id=660438]

Tony Romo dishes on Dak’s deal, Week 1 panic, COVID, and his own fantasy football skills

The former QB sat down with Cowboys Wire to cover a wide variety of topics as a new NFL season and ad campaign for the beer pitchman begin.

Tony Romo started nine Week 1 games as a Dallas Cowboy. One of his most exciting season openers came in 2015 with a touchdown pass in the final seconds to beat the Giants. He broke his collarbone the next week and Dallas would ultimately finish that season last in the NFC East with a 4-12 record. The year before? An 0-1 start after an embarrassing first loss to the 49ers. But that team went on to win the division with a 12-4 mark and the top seed in the NFC postseason bracket.

The point is this: Week 1 isn’t a reliable predictor of anything.

That may be a good mantra for those among Cowboys Nation who were ready to write off 2020 as another wasted season after a disappointing opening night loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

During a private videochat this week with Cowboys Wire and two other outlets, Romo held court in his trademark backward ballcap and covered a wide range of topics: Dak Prescott’s contract drama, the hidden ways COVID-19 will affect players across the league, his own (surprising) fantasy football skills, even his return to the Corona Hotline in a new series of televised beer commercials.

Romo on Week 1 overreactions:

Befitting the cool and unflappable attitude he exudes while manning the beachside phone line in those popular ads, Romo warns against reading too much into whether the team wins or loses their first game of the season.

“I’d be very careful for people to base everything on Week 1,” Romo said. “Just every year in the NFL, everybody, before the season starts, is going to be amazing. Everyone’s figured it all out: they all have a plan, everyone has everything great. Every new team has the new coach or the new players, they’ve got the new scheme or done whatever, and everything is going to be great. And then everyone watches Week 1, and from a fan perspective, we all go, ‘They’re not going to be any good. Did you see that? Terrible.'”

The lead analyst for CBS points out that the global pandemic that’s impacted everything else will mean a longer learning curve for teams that are still just now coming together.

“This is a very unique year. These guys have not been been together all offseason. Right now, you’re trying to figure out your own system.”

He was referring to Tom Brady in his first year with the Buccaneers, but it’s easy to swap in Mike McCarthy and the Cowboys and see some parallels that should talk a few Dallas fans off the proverbial ledge after Team Fortyburger failed to show at SoFi Stadium.

“We pretend like they should have this down because they’ve been together for a month. That’s not realistic,” Romo cautioned. “When the bullets start flying and you’re going through real games, that’s when you start to learn what’s really going to hold up and what’s really not. During the preseason, during practices and training camp, you get all this. But during the offseason, you start to learn about your players. When you’re the quarterback, you start to see, ‘This kid can run this route; this kid can’t.’ In training camp, you really have already assessed all of that, so now you’re like, ‘Okay, let’s put it in these situations to see if it works in these situations. In training camp. In preseason. Or scrimmages against other teams.’ There’s been none of that.”

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott readies to take a snap during the first half of an NFL football game Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Romo believes that it typically takes four games for everyone to get on the same page. But he also thinks McCarthy’s willingness to not only retain Kellen Moore as the team’s offensive coordinator but leave his playcalling responsibilities intact should accelerate the usual getting-to-know-you process between new coach and roster.

“With the Cowboys, the verbiage is the same. So the Cowboys are, kind of, the same offense. They’re not going to be behind when it comes to the verbiage,” the 4-time Pro Bowler said. “As long as the verbiage is the same, you know the offense, you know the rules, you know what people are supposed to do. So that part of it isn’t really different. The difference with Mike McCarthy coming in was that he kept that. So he allowed Kellen Moore to kind of do the same thing, because they were successful last year, offensively. The production was where they wanted it. So I think that’s a good thing.

“Now, as a head coach and you’re an offensive guy, if the production isn’t equaling what you think, then you might start to influence it a little bit more. But right now, Mike’s just trying to see how this goes, watching what’s happening with Kellen and the team. I think is trying to put in a couple things that he knows he likes, so Kellen will put that in. But the majority of it’s going to come from Kellen and the offense. And they’re going to be more similar to last year than they would be [with] a new guy and changing everything. If the verbiage was different- because Mike comes from a West Coast background, and that verbiage is very different. But he decided to come in and keep it the same way. And that allows the players to not have to think as much. That, alone, I think will help them early on. If they ever struggle, I think he’ll put his influence on it very quickly as the head coach.”

Romo on adjustments for players during COVID-19:

Of course, COVID-19 didn’t just scrap preseason exhibition games and abbreviate training camp. The worldwide health crisis hasn’t gone anywhere, so the league is having to adjust on the fly, trying to conduct business as usual in times that are anything but. And while Week 1 may have felt like the finish line and a welcome return to normalcy from the vantage point of fans’ rec room sofas, Romo says the players themselves are still in the very early stages of figuring out just how different the 2020 season will be.

“I don’t think they know yet,” Romo explained. “Really, it’s just beginning. When you’re in the NFL, you’re creatures of habit. Everything is set up for you, timewise. A year in advance, you know what you’re doing next August 21st, next September 11th, 12th, 13th. You can map out your entire schedule. The difference now is the timing of everything is just a hair different. What you do with your normal routine is just a hair different. If you’re used to waking up and getting into the facility at a certain time, now that changes. You’ve got to get up a little bit sooner to do the test, do a lot of other things. You decide not to go out to eat with your family on Friday night. Your family comes in town for a home game, you’re used to going out with [your] parents, [your] wife’s parents, your aunts and uncles, everybody, Are you willing to risk that and go to dinner?”

Romo downplays the notion that it will be difficult for players to pump themselves up for games played in vacant or nearly-empty stadiums. The Cowboys and Rams conducted their Week 1 contest without fans in attendance in Los Angeles; Dallas returns home to host Atlanta at AT&T Stadium, where estimates suggest a crowd of around 20,000 on Sunday.

Sep 13, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; General overall view of SoFi Stadium before the NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Rams. at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The ex-quarterback doesn’t think it will make much of a difference to the players on the field.

Or, at least, it shouldn’t.

“As far as gameday, people were talking about fans in the stands. Some coaches talk about the energy, stuff like that. I don’t know. If you’re a player, and you’re in the NFL, and you can get hit, or you have to go hit somebody, it’s a fight-or-flight feeling.

“So with or without fans,” he continued, “you’re exposed to that feeling. There’s nerves, and a lot of it is because you can get hurt. Like, right away. You’re going to get hurt, and you’re going to be in a position to be exposed in multiple ways. As far as how we evaluate you on Monday, your coaches are still evaluating everything you do. The fans may add energy and stuff. I know it’s a little bit different when you’re watching it, but as a player, I really believe these guys can’t go into a game and go, ‘Oh, there’s no fans; I just didn’t have it today.’ You’re going to get dominated.

“These guys, their lives are on the line, and someone’s going to come and attack you. And if you’re not bringing it every day?… It’s not like a different sport where it’s just, ‘Well, I didn’t feel the energy.’ If you didn’t feel the energy, there’s a good chance you could get hurt. I think the players are going to go just as hard. They’re going to give just the same effort.”

Romo on Dak’s deal in an evolving NFL:

In 2007, Romo was rewarded with a lucrative six-year contract extension with the Cowboys after just 17 starts. Another big-money six-year pact was reached before the 2013 season. Conversely, Dak Prescott started 54 games under his rookie contract and got a one-year prove-it deal on the franchise tag for the effort.

The will-they-or-won’t-they drama surrounding Prescott and the Cowboys front office’s long-term commitment to him was the rollercoaster ride of the summer. But Romo, who has made a name for himself with his predictive abilities in the broadcast booth, forecasts a happy ending for Prescott and America’s Team.

“I think with Dak, it’s going to be very easy for the Cowboys to get that done. It’s just one of those things.”

One could argue that if locking up Prescott’s services were truly very easy, the Joneses would have checked that box on the to-do list long before it became the lead story on sports reports everywhere. Instead, the Chiefs inked Patrick Mahomes to a groundbreaking contract in July, and the Texans secured Deshaun Watson earlier this month. That likely ensures that Prescott’s paycheck will get even bigger than it would have been had the deal gotten done in the spring.

Aug 19, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and quarterback Tony Romo (9) talk during the pregame warmups against the Miami Dolphins at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

“I think Dak Prescott bet on himself,” Romo posited. “But I don’t think it’s just him. I think a lot of quarterbacks are doing that right now. The seven-year, eight-year contracts are probably going away. And what’s happening is, teams are having to adjust. That always helps the salary cap when you can have a guy who you know is going to be there a long time because you can always roll the money back to next year, you can always push it back, and that position, you always knew he’d be there…

“So Dak bet on himself. And I think in a lot of ways, that’s what a lot of people are doing, just betting on themselves and saying they know they’re unique and they have the ability to help a football team win.”

“I understand both sides,” Romo offered. “I understand Dak’s side, because he’s right. And the Cowboys are right. There is no perfect answer here. It’s hard because the salary cap changes each year… It’s just a different time right now where quarterbacks are understanding their leverage, and teams are having to adjust what they’re doing. I think it will still get done. It’s obviously not ideal for anyone, but I think it will get done.”

The Cowboys’ career leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns believes that the league is currently in the middle of a rare quarterback renaissance. And that is contributing to the delay in a deal for the man trying to get there.

“It’s a different time. Quarterbacks have always been something that has driven the league. You want great quarterbacks, and the more great quarterbacks you have, the league is better off. It’s just rare when you get the older quarterbacks who are finishing up their careers who are really good, and you get a bunch of young quarterbacks, and they’re all kind of mixed in; these guys aren’t way better. For a long time, it was like, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning; they’re just so much better. Then you throw in Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees: there’s the four, and then there’s everybody else who’s trying to knock on the door. There might be a guy or two, but there’s never been this much depth.”

Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott and Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson greet each other at midfield after their NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Despite proclamations from the top that Prescott is the future of the franchise, passer depth across the league and in the college ranks may be a small part of what’s kept the Cowboys ownership from wedding themselves to their 2016 fourth-round find.

But Romo also thinks the current QB boom helps the truly special signal-callers prove their worth when it comes time to re-negotiate.

“There are so many guys that have the ability to lead their team to a championship, if their team is in a position to really win,” he said. “Saying all of that, yes, I know about the contract stuff. I’ve been through it before with the Cowboys. Quarterbacks now: it’s nothing more than they’re understanding their position in the sport. And they’re starting to get to a point where they understand the influence they have on the organization and, really, their contribution to the football team and what that means.”

The analyst with the reputation for breaking down hot reads and blitz packages so that the casual fan can grasp complex football strategies managed to do the same for the financial side of the game, using the NBA to draw an easy-to-comprehend analogy.

“In basketball, it’s been happening for a while now,” said Romo. “LeBron James, years back, decided to, instead of taking this seven-year or long-term guarantee, he decided to say, ‘I’m going to go two years.’ Because who’s not going to want LeBron James in two years? So it’s a position where you have the ability to kind of control your environment, I guess you could say. But, more than that, you can control your situation.

“And quarterbacks are starting to do the same thing basketball players have been doing, a little bit. Instead of taking the long-term guarantee, they’re starting to do less years. Quarterbacks forever took the guarantee just in case they were injured. What you’re finding is they’re not doing that near as much anymore, because they’re rare. Really good quarterbacks are rare. And if you’re rare, you can trust that someone’s going to like you enough to make you their quarterback, and multiple people will want you, because it’s hard to have a really good quarterback in the National Football League.”

Romo on 2020’s expanded postseason format:

It may be hard to have a really good passer in the NFL, but starting this season, it just got a little bit easier to make it to the big dance. Seven teams from each conference will now receive a playoff berth, up from six.

Detractors say it runs the risk of watering down the level of postseason play. Romo does not agree. Rather than assume a No. 7 seed must be a mediocre squad who backed into their undeserved wild card slot, the gritty underdog hero of so many improbable Cowboys comebacks instead sees the opportunity for a late-blooming team to make an exciting run.

Feb 3, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; The Vince Lombardi Trophy is handed off after the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

“Think about that team that makes it, that extra team who gets in,” Romo imagined. “What happens if your starting quarterback is Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes? And now all of a sudden, that team sneaks into the playoffs and he gets healthy in Week 16 or 17. And that team snuck in. Do you want to play that team? They just became a very formidable opponent.

“If you say it dilutes it, I would say it depends on who you’re talking about… I don’t think it dilutes it at all. The more playoff football games you have, it’s better. And more people are going to watch. And it just makes more money for the players, the owners, everybody else, your coaches. That just helps the NFL.”

Romo on his own fantasy football prowess:

Of course, Romo’s role within the NFL is now one of a lead analyst for his network’s marquee game of the week. That’s his official role, anyway. Unofficially, he’s the all-knowing (and wise-cracking) brains behind the Corona Hotline, the beermaker’s imaginary help desk where Romo assists everyday fans with their fantasy football dilemmas.

The 2020 ad campaign gives real-life viewers the chance to call in and instantly win a Corona-branded championship trophy for their league. And one lucky grand prize winner will get a four-day, three-night beach vacation for up to 11 guests for the purposes of holding their 2021 fantasy draft in style.

But fans looking to put Romo’s keen football insight to use on their fantasy squad may want to reconsider. As brilliant a mind as Romo is with the actual Xs and Os, he admits that his fantasy expertise is only a fictional construct for the Corona beach ads.

With permission from Corona

“I’m actually in a fantasy football league with [CBS broadcast partner] Jim Nantz,” Romo explained. “He’s the head; he spearheads our team. They had the draft last week. So we talked before the draft, and he asks some questions. And I’m like, ‘Why don’t we just take this guy? I think this is going to be great.’ And he goes, ‘Uh, they’re saved on [someone else’s] team.’ And I’m like, ‘What does that mean? Saved?’ He’s like, ‘Well, each person gets to save two people from the year before.’ And I’m like, ‘How many years do they get to save them?’ He says, ‘Two years.’ I’m like, ‘Why two years? Is it six years? One year? How do you even come up with these rules? It’s endless, the rules they have. So I’m like, “Well, who’s the top ten picks?’ And the top ten picks are not even a part of the top 20, 30 guys because 15 teams have the top 30 guys saved. And there’s one guy who slipped through the cracks, maybe. And if you don’t have the number one pick, then you don’t get that guy. And I’m like, ‘This is much harder than I thought.'”

Besides apparently being new to the concept of a keeper league, Romo went on to confess that he struggled with the notion of point-per-reception play.

“I didn’t realize… PPR league: do you guys know what that means? I’m always like, ‘He’s going to run the football great.’ [Jim] is like, ‘Oh, that’s great. But he doesn’t catch the ball.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, well…’

“‘That matters more than running.’

“‘Then why aren’t we drafting only the best pass-catchers in the league?’

“‘Oh, well, rushing matters. Just not as much. Touchdowns matter [in] rushing.’

“And I’m like, ‘I don’t know the rules to this whole thing. I can’t even help you.’ It’s actually really hard for me to help. I’m not that smart in fantasy football. Unless you want to call the Corona Hotline.”

You can follow Todd on Twitter @ToddBrock24f7.

[vertical-gallery id=650836]

[vertical-gallery id=652002]


Romo skipped on ESPN’s NFCE All-Decade team littered with Cowboys

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning takes the top spot from Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys as the NFC East’s all-decade quarterback.

The 2010 portion of the Dallas Cowboys lauded history can be summed up in one word: underwhelming. A roster usually filled with talent constantly underperformed, a description that has become the hallmark of the bygone Jason Garrett era. The club was only able to reach the divisional round three times in 10 years, once by virtue of a wild-card bye, but was never able to reach a championship game.

The NFC East beat writers at ESPN voted on an all-decade divisional team. and it is littered with Cowboys. Of the 25 available spots, 10 of them hail from Dallas. The one player missing is former quarterback Tony Romo, who misses out on the top spot to Eli Manning of the New York Giants.

The difference is in the ring.

Manning captured a Lombardi trophy in 2011 while Romo and the Cowboys made the playoffs in just one season before injuries took over and Dak Prescott ascended. But outside of the improbable 2011 playoff run for the Giants and Manning, there’s no question who played the position at a higher level.

In terms of efficiency, Romo outshines Manning in every respect, boasting superior numbers across the board, image and numbers courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

But while Romo was undoubtedly better when he was available, the problem is he just wasn’t for the last half of the decade. Manning’s pure volume numbers lay waste to Romo, one of the most snake-bitten players of his time. With the Super Bowl acting as a cherry on top, it’s tough to argue against the Manning taking that spot.

The Dallas Cowboys who did make the list:

  • Running back Ezekiel Elliott
  • Wide receiver Dez Bryant
  • Offensive tackle Tyron Smith
  • Center Travis Frederick
  • Guard Zack Martin
  • Tight end Jason Witten
  • Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence
  • Linebacker Sean Lee
  • Linebacker DeMarcus Ware
  • Kicker Dan Bailey

[vertical-gallery id=648572][lawrence-newsletter]

News: Elliott feeling well but not happy, Cowboys WR best trio in NFL?

News and notes for all things Dallas Cowboys on June 15, 2020.

It was the usual kind of sleepy Monday the NFL fan endures every June, right up until news came down Dallas Cowboys players had been diagnosed with Covid-19. The one whose name was publicly leaked? Running back Ezekiel Elliott, who can’t escape an offseason unscathed.

Elsewhere, there’s just a month left to get a deal done with quarterback Dak Prescott, the debate of who has the best receiving corps in the game has just begun as the countdown to kickoff continues.

Report: Ezekiel Elliott, ‘several Cowboys players’ test positive for COVID-19 :: Cowboys Wire

It was only a matter of time before this happened. Not Elliott specifically, but a big-name NFL player to come down with the coronavirus that is impacting lives globally. It’s not the first, nor it will be the last instance of a player testing positive around the league. It is however, a firm reminder of the unprecedented situation facing the NFL and its employees.

Elliott, fortunately, was asymptomatic and only thought to be tested because someone he knew had tested positive.

Ezekiel Elliott not pleased agent had to confirm coronavirus test results :: Cowboys Wire

Reporters were hounding Elliott’s agent, after what can only be considered a HIPAA violation from someone who knew Elliott’s results.

Best young WR trio in the NFL? ::

The Princeton sign behind Kyle Brandt indicates he’s the smartest of the group.

Despite his versatility, the Cowboys spending $8 million for Tyrone Crawford is just not good business :: Blogging the Boys

Is Tyrone Crawford too expensive to keep on the roster? This article believes so, but unless the defensive end position, which is currently filled with plenty of unknown after DeMarcus Lawrence, is upgraded with the possible cap savings, the answer’s no.

Dak Prescott’s deal isn’t done, here’s the latest with 1 month before deadline :: Cowboys Wire

If deadlines indeed get deals done, the egg timer is more glass half empty than it is full as one month remains until contract talks cease. There’s a belief that there’s no way the Cowboys let Prescott play on a franchise tag, but actions speak louder than words.

A Blake Jarwin breakout could fuel Cowboys offense into stratosphere :: Cowboys Wire

The tight end spot has been in limbo for exactly one season since 2003 and the hope is that Blake Jarwin, who’s played well in a limited role, can add an element the position’s been lacking.

The Athletic’s 2020 NFL broadcast survey results: Tony Romo is worth the money :: The Athletic

Tony Romo continues to get all the love in the booth that he fought so hard to earn on the field. In a poll from The Athletic, nearly three-quarters of those surveyed chose Romo as their favorite color analyst.

[vertical-gallery id=646597][lawrence-newsletter]

Prescott, Romo steered Cowboys through bad decade of defense

A look back at the decade that was in terms of the Dallas Cowboys DVOA rankings on both sides of the football.

A new decade of the NFL is on the horizon. With that in mind, it’s an easy time to take a look back on another frustrating stretch of Dallas Cowboys football. ESPN, in conjunction with Football Outsiders, has put a bow on the 2010’s by compiling the DVOA (a opponent-adjusted metric used to compare teams) by year. The snapshot it provides perfectly sums up the Jason Garrett era in Dallas.

Each edition of the Cowboys over the past decade had one thing in common: an offense held together by an under-appreciated quarterback. First it was Tony Romo, whose shortcomings in the playoffs submarined the casual fans view of his play. That same exact brush is currently being used to paint Dak Prescott.

Despite the article being behind a paywall, this information is readily available at

There are three subpar offensive years on the lists. In 2010, the team fell apart after Romo broke his clavicle for the first time in Week 7 against the New York Giants. Before that, Dallas was tracking closer to a top 10 offense. In the disastrous 2015 campaign, Romo again played just four games after suffering the same type of injury in Week 2 against another divisional foe in the Philadelphia Eagles.

In what must be a devastating blow to the people who dedicate their online lives to the devaluing of Prescott, the two best years of offense came with No. 4 at the helm. His 2016 rookie season remains a pleasant surprise, but the true leap came last year, despite the meme-inducing 8-8 record. Even Prescott’s worst year in terms of quarterback play resulted in a 10-win season, a trip to the playoffs and a wild card win against the Seattle Seahawks.

Since former head coach Wade Phillips’ departure, the defense was never able to find its footing. The team had just one above average performance on that side of the ball, and played dismally just as often as not despite cycling through five defensive coordinators.

The next 10 years of football in Dallas is yet to be written. But with a quarterback of Prescott’s caliber in tow, history has shown at least the offense will pull its weight and give the team a puncher’s chance of the playoffs ever season.


Tony Romo shares insight on how he handled giving Prescott keys to Cowboys

Tony Romo discusses losing his starting role to Dak Prescott in the 2016 season.

By 2016, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo had firmly established himself as one the best at his position, however, he was also coming back from yet another in a mind-boggling and soul-crushing list of injuries.

Romo wouldn’t even make it to the season opener this time, suffering broken bones in his back in his exhibition debut.  Already showing extremely well in the preseason, rookie QB Dak Prescott now had the regular season reigns as well and after an opening-week loss, the  Cowboys went on an 11-game win streak to ultimately finish 13-3 and lock up the top seed in the NFC Playoffs. During the streak, Romo decided to end the chatter, fueled by a vocally supportive structure of owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett. He stood in front of the media and gave a heartfelt speech that turned the keys of the franchise over to Prescott.

In a recent interview on In Depth with Graham Bensinger, Romo discussed what it was like losing his job.

“Well, I think anybody who’s winning that many games, their team was playing so well, I mean that’s kind of what will always happen,” Romo said. “You just don’t mess with that kind of success.”

“Football is really not about any individual, but we all want to be the best…one of the major reasons you’re winning and being great. You know, as you become a dad and you get older, you can kind of see there are rare multiple sides. It’s just not about me. It’s about so many more people. I just feel like when your team is playing well and everybody is playing really good football, it’s just a team sport. It’s not about an individual.”

Bensinger also asked why it was important to Romo to deliver the message he did during his press conference after he realized Prescott was the new captain of the ship.

“Well, there are multiple reasons. I think one, it’s just an opportunity for kids, you know? You think about how many kids out there want to play and start and be the best and sometimes you have a setback or things don’t go your way. I like said, being a dad you kind of hope sometimes they handle things a certain way and sometimes it’s better to try and live it than just tell them sometimes and I felt like I could just help some kid out there going through it.”

Totally classy and what the public who actually paid attention would expect from a guy like Romo. The way he handled the 2016 situation was a reminder of why it’s important to put the team before one’s self when winning is the ultimate goal.

Romo would only throw four passes in the Cowboys season finale vs the Eagles, and they would be the final passes of his career. Just as he was ready to ascend into the pantheon of great quarterbacks, he body could no longer support his will, but he’s done well for himself since. Romo was immediately snatched up to do color commentary for CBS, and has been a revelation to sports broadcasting. After his initial contract expired, Romo re-signed with the broadcast company to become the highest-paid in industry history earlier this year.

[vertical-gallery id=642436][lawrence-newsletter]

Tony Romo re-ups with CBS Sports, to make $17M a year

CBS is making their leading man very happy for the coming broadcast wars.

The NFL landscape is about to undergo major change in these next rounds of rights allocations. After the CBA is cleared up, the league is going to open bidding for the right to broadcast their multitude of packages. The NFC, AFC, Sunday, Monday and Thursday night broadcasts will now also include a third wild-card game in each conference and the fact live sports seems to be the only thing tethering people to the corded conglomerates, the bidding is expected to bring a windfall of new revenue to the league.

CBS, wanting to make sure they don’t lose their seat at the table, went about securing the one thing separating them from their competitors; the world’s best color analyst. They have worked out a deal to retain pending free agent Tony Romo at a record number of $17 million a season.

The former record was held by the incomparable John Madden, who earned $8 million a season a couple decades ago. According to the New York Post that would be around $14 million in today’s dollars.

Romo had the opportunity to name his price, as his first contract was for three years and $10 million, but allowed CBS the right of first refusal before Romo could negotiate with another network.

It was believed ESPN was going to put together a lucrative package in order to bring Romo to their stable. There are rumors ESPN would like to broadcast Super Bowls as well, as they look to improve over the combo of Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland.

Romo began broadcasting immediately after retiring from the Dallas Cowboys as a player and the franchise leader in most every statistical category. He’s been widely accepted as the gold standard of his profession, giving insights into what pre-snap reads and formations offenses are making and taking the viewer on a more significant journey than other broadcasts.

He had instant chemistry with Jim Nantz, CBS’ star announcer who covers a wide range of sports. There have been rumors a new contract for Romo could include joining Nantz on other broadcasts, specifically golf, which Romo has a penchant for playing at competitive levels already.

[vertical-gallery id=640098][vertical-gallery id=639104][lawrence-newsletter]