Antonio Ramiro Romo (born April 21, 1980) is an American football
television analyst and former quarterback who played 14 seasons with
Dallas Cowboys of the
National Football League
National Football League (NFL). He played
college football for Eastern Illinois University, where he won the
Walter Payton Award
Walter Payton Award in 2002, and led the Panthers to an Ohio Valley
Conference championship in 2001.
He signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cowboys in 2003.
Beginning his career as a holder, Romo became the Cowboys' starting
quarterback during the 2006 season. Serving as the team's primary
starter from 2006 to 2015, he guided the Cowboys to four postseason
appearances and was named to the
Pro Bowl four times. Romo retired
after the 2016 season, following a preseason back injury that caused
him to lose his starting position to Dak Prescott. Upon retiring, he
was hired by
CBS Sports to become the lead color analyst for their NFL
telecasts, teaming with
Jim Nantz in the broadcast booth.
Romo holds several Cowboys team records, including passing touchdowns,
passing yards, most games with at least 300 passing yards, and games
with three or more touchdown passes. He also held a higher passer
rating in the fourth quarter than any other NFL quarterback from 2006
to 2013. However, Romo's reputation was affected by a lack of
postseason success, having won only two of the six playoff games he
appeared in and never advancing beyond the divisional
round. His 97.1 passer rating is the fourth highest of
all time and the highest among quarterbacks not to reach the Super
Bowl, as well as the highest among retired players.
1 Early years
2 College career
2.2 Awards and honors
3 Professional career
3.1 2003–2005 seasons
3.2 2006 season
3.3 2007 season
3.4 2008 season
3.5 2009 season
3.6 2010 season
3.7 2011 season
3.8 2012 season
3.9 2013 season
3.10 2014 season
3.11 2015 season
3.12 2016 season
3.14 NFL career statistics
3.15 Career awards and highlights
3.16 NFL records
Dallas Cowboys team records
4 Broadcasting career
5 Personal life
5.1 Community involvement
5.2 Relationship with Jessica Simpson
6 See also
8 External links
Romo was born in San Diego, California, while his father, Ramiro Romo
Jr., was serving in the United States Navy, and his mother, Joan
(Jakubowski) Romo, was a store clerk. His family returned to their
home in Burlington, Wisconsin. Romo played baseball as a child and
was selected to the
Little League All-Star team.
Romo started as quarterback for the Burlington High School Demons
beginning as a junior (1996 season). In the 1997 season, Romo and the
Demons finished with a 3–6 record, though he earned several honors,
including the All-Racine County football team and Wisconsin Football
Coaches Association All-State first team honors. Romo also was a
starter on the Burlington High School varsity basketball team and also
played golf and tennis. Romo graduated from Burlington High School in
Romo at Eastern Illinois
Eastern Illinois University
Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois,
where he played for the NCAA Division I-AA Eastern Illinois Panthers
football team and was a member of Sigma Pi. As a sophomore in 2000, he
ranked second in Division I-AA in passing efficiency, completing
164-of-278 (59%) passes for 2,583 yards and 27 touchdowns. After the
season, he was honored as an
All-America honorable mention, an
Ohio Valley Conference
Ohio Valley Conference member, and the OVC Player of the Year. As
a junior, he led Division I-AA in passing efficiency, completing
138-of-207 passes for 2,068 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Romo earned OVC Player of the Week honors on October 14, 2002, after
his eight-yard scramble run on the last play of the game led Eastern
Illinois to a 25–24 win over Eastern Kentucky.
On December 19, 2002, Romo became the first player in Eastern Illinois
Ohio Valley Conference
Ohio Valley Conference history to win the Walter Payton Award,
given annually to the top Division I-AA football player. He finished
his career holding school and conference records with 85 touchdown
passes. He finished second in school and third in conference
history with 8,212 passing yards and second in school history with 584
completions and 941 attempts. As a senior, he set school and
conference records for completions with 258 in 407 attempts for 3,418
yards. This was second in conference and third in school history for a
season. He threw for 34 touchdowns and scored one rushing touchdown.
Romo's 3,149 yards in total offense as a senior ranked third in school
and conference history. Along with the Walter Payton Award, Romo
All-America honors. In addition, he was selected
Ohio Valley Conference
Ohio Valley Conference and was named OVC Player of the Year for
the third straight year.
During homecoming weekend on October 17, 2009, Eastern Illinois
University retired Romo's No. 17 jersey and inducted him into EIU's
Hall of Fame. Romo is the first Eastern Illinois player to have his
number retired. He said of the event, "It was such an honor to be
inducted into the Hall of Fame here, and with the jersey ceremony, it
holds a special place in your heart."
Awards and honors
3× All-OVC (2000–2002)
3× OVC Player of the Year (2000–2002)
3× All-American (2000–2002)
Walter Payton Award
Walter Payton Award (2002)
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6 ft 2 in
9 5⁄8 in
8 ft 9 in
All values were taken at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Romo attended the 2003 NFL Combine. Despite intriguing some scouts, he
went undrafted by any NFL team during the 2003 NFL Draft. Throughout
the draft, Romo was assured by
Sean Payton of the Cowboys' interest
(Romo was also intensely pursued by former
Denver Broncos head coach
Mike Shanahan), and shortly afterwards was signed as an undrafted
rookie free agent by the Cowboys. Romo entered the 2003 training camp
third on the Cowboys' depth chart behind
Quincy Carter and Chad
Hutchinson. In 2004, the Cowboys released Hutchinson and signed
Vinny Testaverde and traded a third round draft
pick to the
Houston Texans for quarterback Drew Henson. Romo faced
being cut from the roster until Carter was released following
allegations of substance abuse. Throughout 2004 and 2005, Romo served
as the holder for placekicks. After Vinny Testaverde's tenure in
Dallas ended in 2005, the Cowboys signed veteran quarterback Drew
Bledsoe, the team's eighth starting quarterback since 2000.
One of Romo's early career highlights was in 2004, when (as the
third-string quarterback) he rushed for the winning touchdown with six
seconds left in a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders. Elevated
to the Cowboys' second quarterback in 2005, Romo had strong showings
in the 2005 and 2006 pre-seasons. In the 2006 off-season, Sean Payton
(now head coach of the New Orleans Saints), offered a third round
draft pick for Romo, but Cowboys' owner
Jerry Jones refused, asking
for no less than a second round draft pick.
Romo during the 2006 preseason
Romo began the season as a backup to starter Drew Bledsoe. He took his
first regular season snap at quarterback in a home game against the
Houston Texans on October 15. His first NFL pass was a 33-yard
completion to wide receiver Sam Hurd. His only other pass of the game
was a two-yard touchdown pass, his first in the NFL, to wide receiver
One week later on October 23, 2006, Romo replaced Bledsoe for the
start of the second half of a game against the New York Giants. His
first pass was tipped and intercepted. His game stats in only his
second NFL appearance were 14 completions on 25 attempts for 227
yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions (one of which was
returned for a touchdown). On October 25, Cowboys head coach Bill
Parcells announced that Romo would be the Cowboys starting quarterback
for the October 29 game against the Carolina Panthers on NBC Sunday
Night Football, in Week 8 of the 2006 season. Romo led the Cowboys to
victory in his first game as a starter, 35–14. In that game, Romo
was Sunday Night Football's "Rock Star of the Game."
On November 19, 2006, Romo led the Cowboys past the Indianapolis
Colts, the NFL's last unbeaten team. He completed 19 of 23 passes as
the Cowboys won against the Colts 21–14. Four days later he helped
the Cowboys win in a Thanksgiving Day game against the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers by the score of 38–10. Romo went 22–29 with 306 yards
and five touchdown passes and no interceptions. For his
performance, he was awarded FOX's Galloping Gobbler award as the
Thanksgiving Day MVP.
Romo aided the Cowboys in clinching a playoff spot, their second since
Parcells became coach in 2003. He concluded the 2006 regular season
with 220 completions on 337 pass attempts for 2,903 yards, 19
touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, with a passer rating of 95.1.
The Cowboys played the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card playoff
round on January 6, 2007. With the Cowboys trailing 21–20 on
fourth-and-one with 1:19 left in the game, the Cowboys attempted a
19-yard field goal. Romo, the holder for the kick, fumbled the snap.
He recovered the ball and attempted to run it in, but was tackled
short of the first down marker, and turned the ball over on the
Seattle 2-yard line. The Cowboys went on to lose the game. Romo
finished the 2006 season ranked seventh in the NFC in passing yards
(2,903) and touchdown passes (19).
Romo played in the 2007
Pro Bowl after
Drew Brees went down with an
elbow injury as a substitution for Marc Bulger. He threw one touchdown
and one interception, and was the NFC's kickoff holder in the game.
Romo before the 2008 Pro Bowl
Romo began the 2007 season with four touchdown passes and an
additional touchdown rush, the first of his career, defeating the New
York Giants 45–35 in the Cowboys' first game of the regular season,
His 345 passing yards in Week 1 led the NFL. In Week 2, he threw for
186 yards and two touchdowns beating the Miami Dolphins, ranking him
seventh in passing yards and tied for second with six touchdown
passes. Romo added 329 passing yards and two touchdown passes in
the Cowboys' Week 3 34–10 win over the Chicago Bears. The following
week, he passed for 339 yards and three touchdowns in a 35–7 win
over the St. Louis Rams. He also ran for an additional touchdown. This
brought his season totals to 1199 passing yards with 11 passing
touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.
In Week 5, on
Monday Night Football
Monday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills, Romo
threw five interceptions (four in the first half, two of which were
returned for touchdowns) and lost a fumble. He became the second
person in the history of
Monday Night Football
Monday Night Football to throw five
interceptions in a winning effort. The first person was his
quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson. Nonetheless, he threw for 4,211 yards
(third in the NFL) and 36 touchdown passes during the regular season
(second only to Tom Brady). His 97.4 passer rating was good enough for
fifth in the NFL behind Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, David Garrard,
and Peyton Manning.
On October 29, Romo reached an agreement to a six-year, $67.5 million
contract extension with the Cowboys.
On November 29 against the Green Bay Packers, in a game between 10–1
teams, Romo threw four touchdown passes (bringing his season total to
33), breaking Danny White's (29) record from 1983. On December 22
against the Carolina Panthers, Romo became the first Cowboys'
quarterback to pass for more than 4,000 yards in a season. Finally on
December 30 against the Washington Redskins, Romo broke the Cowboys'
season completions record with his 335th completion, a short pass to
tight end Jason Witten. The Cowboys finished the season with a 13–3
In the Cowboys' January 13, 2008, divisional playoff game against the
New York Giants, Romo was unable to lead his team to a
come-from-behind victory. On fourth down with less than half a minute
and no timeouts left, Romo threw the ball into the end zone, but it
was intercepted by Giants cornerback R. W. McQuarters, ensuring that
the Cowboys were eliminated from the playoffs with a 21-17 loss to the
Super Bowl XLII champions.
On September 7, 2008, Romo led the Cowboys to a 28–10 win over the
Cleveland Browns in their season opener. Romo completed 24 of his 32
passes for a total of 320 yards and one touchdown. After the game,
Romo required 13 stitches for a large gash on his chin that occurred
during the third quarter when linebacker
Willie McGinest hit him in
the chin with his helmet. The NFL fined McGinest $7,500 for the
On September 15, Romo led the
Dallas Cowboys to a 41–37 win against
Philadelphia Eagles in the second game of the 2008 season. Romo
completed 21 of his 30 passes for a total of 312 yards and three
touchdowns. The 54 combined points scored by the Cowboys and Eagles in
the first half were the second most points scored in a half during a
Monday Night Football
Monday Night Football game.
Romo and the Cowboys won their third straight before losing to the
Washington Redskins, falling to 3–1. Following a win against the
Cincinnati Bengals, Romo was injured in a loss to the Arizona
Cardinals. The Cowboys, under Brad Johnson, went 1–2 the next three
games, falling to the St. Louis Rams, beating the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers, and losing to the New York Giants.
In what became a de facto third playoff game for Romo shortly prior to
its start, on December 28, Romo and the Cowboys failed to compete
Philadelphia Eagles in a 44–6 loss. Romo committed
three turnovers in the game and went 21/39 for 183 yards and no
touchdowns. The loss dropped Romo's combined record in December to
5–8 and again raised questions about his performance in games of
Tony Romo vs. Kansas City Chiefs – 2009
Romo led the Cowboys to a 34–21 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in
their season opener. He completed 16 of his 27 passes for a
then-career high 353 yards along with three touchdowns.
Romo and the Cowboys were defeated in week 2 against the New York
Giants in the Cowboys home opener at their new Cowboys Stadium. Romo
completed 13 of 29 passes for 127 yards and one touchdown. He also
threw three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown
for the Giants.
Romo was quoted as saying, "We came out stale" against a Denver
Broncos team that thoroughly shut down his teams passing and running
attacks. He was successful in completing a 53-yard pass to
Sam Hurd at
the end of the second half but failed on the following three plays to
get the ball in the end zone, which would have taken the game into
overtime. He was quoted as saying, "we need to get better."
In a December road game against the division rival New York Giants,
Romo passed for a career-high 392 yards, along with three touchdown
passes in a losing effort.
After several kicks were missed by kicker
Nick Folk due to bad holds
by punter Mat McBriar, Romo resumed holding duties for the first time
since the 2006 in their 13th game of the season, versus the San Diego
In week 15, Romo led the Cowboys to a win against an undefeated team
late in the season for the second time in his career. In 2006, he won
against the 10–0 Indianapolis Colts, and on December 19, 2009, he
defeated the 13–0 Saints at New Orleans, throwing for 312 yards, one
touchdown and no interceptions.
Romo finished the 2009 season as the first quarterback in team history
to take every snap for a full season. He also passed his own mark for
single season passing yardage, with 4,483 yards, and became the first
Cowboys quarterback to throw more than 20 touchdowns and fewer than
ten interceptions in a season. His eight 300 yard games was also a
team record, surpassing his own record from 2007. His 1.6%
interception percentage tied a team record, and his career
interception percentage became the lowest in franchise history.
Dallas Cowboys became the
NFC East division champions with their
season finale shutout of the Philadelphia Eagles, the second division
title in Romo's three full seasons as the starting quarterback.
Romo had a 104.9 passer rating in a 34–14 win of the Philadelphia
Eagles in the first round of the playoffs, earning the first play-off
win in 13 years for the Cowboys, and his own first career post-season
However, the following week in the NFC Division Round against the
number two seed Minnesota Vikings, Romo had three fumbles (losing
two), an interception and was sacked six times in the 34–3 loss.
In Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans, Romo threw for a career-high
406 yards and three touchdowns. However, he also threw two costly
interceptions in the fourth quarter, resulting in 34–27 loss at
Cowboys Stadium. Romo and the Cowboys were desperate for a win with a
record of 1–3 and last in the division. They played against the
Minnesota Vikings, who also had a 1–3 record and were in need of a
win. Romo threw for over 200 yards and 3 touchdowns but also threw two
costly interceptions. The Cowboys lost the game by a score of 24–21.
During the October 25, 2010,
Monday Night Football
Monday Night Football game against the
New York Giants, Romo suffered a broken left clavicle. The injury
occurred during the second quarter, when Romo was driven to the turf
by Giants linebacker Michael Boley. He was placed on Injured
Reserve on December 21, 2010, and replaced by veteran Jon Kitna.
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Romo finished the 2011 season with 346 completions on 522 attempts
(66.3%) for 4,184 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions for a QB
rating of 102.5 in 16 starts. His 102.5 QB rating was fourth best in
the league behind the National League MVP Aaron Rodgers, Offensive
Player of the Year
Drew Brees and AFC Champion Tom Brady, and second
highest in Cowboys history. His 66.3 pass completion percentage was
third in the league behind Rodgers and Brees. His 4,184 yards ranked
as third highest in team history behind his 2009 and 2007 records.
Romo also added 46 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown with three
lost fumbles and was sacked a career-high 36 times.
Half of Romo's interceptions for the season occurred in the first four
games of the season, and for the final 12 games Romo threw 24
touchdowns to just five interceptions.
Romo had four fourth-quarter comebacks in 2011 (49ers, Redskins twice
and against the Dolphins) and had a would-be game-winning field goal
attempt against the Arizona Cardinals and a would-be game-tying field
goal attempt against the
New York Giants
New York Giants both blocked (The Cowboys
lost both of those games).
In Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers, Romo suffered a broken rib
and a punctured lung on a hit from Carlos Rogers in the second quarter
that forced him to miss part of the game. In this game, rookie kicker
Dan Bailey missed a 21-yard field goal at the end of the game. Romo
came back in the final seconds of the third quarter and played the
fourth quarter throwing for a touchdown and driving down the field for
the game-tying field goal with four seconds left in the game to force
overtime. The 49ers won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball.
The Cowboys defense forced the punt and Romo started the drive at
their 22-yard line. On the first offensive possession for the Cowboys
in overtime, Romo connected with
Jesse Holley for 77 yards to set up
the 19 yard game-winning field goal. Romo finished the game with 345
yards and two touchdowns with a 116.4 rating despite the cracked rib
and punctured lung. For his performance in this game, Romo earned the
NFC's Offensive player of the Week Award. Romo played the rest of
the season with the cracked rib and used a protective vest for a few
games to protect his torso.
Against the eventual AFC Champion New England Patriots in Week 6, Romo
completed 27 of his 41 passes for 317 yards with one touchdown and one
interception at Gillette Stadium. The Cowboys held a three-point lead
with 2:31 left in the fourth quarter before the Cowboys’ defense
surrendered 80 yards in ten plays to
Tom Brady (8 of nine passing in
the final drive) for the game-winning touchdown with 27 seconds left
in the game.
In Week 10, Romo posted the second highest QB rating of his career
with a rating of 148.40 (in a Thanksgiving game on November 23, 2006,
Romo posted a rating of 148.90, going 22 of 29, for 306 yards and 5
touchdowns). In the win against the Buffalo Bills, Romo was 23 of 26
for 270 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
Romo elevated his game in the last month of the season as he completed
72.1 percent of his passes for 1,158 yards with 10 touchdowns and just
In Week 14 against the eventual
Super Bowl champion Giants, Romo had
21 completions out of 31 passes (two spikes) for 321 yards, four
touchdowns and no interceptions. Romo had his second highest
quarterback rating of the season with a rating of 141.30. In one of
the more memorable plays of the season, with 2:25 left in the game and
the Cowboys leading 34 to 29, on third down with five yards to go,
Miles Austin for a wide open pass on a "go" route
(though the injured Austin later admitted to "losing" the ball in the
stadium lights). The Cowboys punted from their 25-yard line after
the incomplete pass. The Giants got the ball back at their 42-yard
line with 2:12 in the game, and marched down 58 yards in 8 plays for a
touchdown, leaving just 51 seconds left in the game. With 46 seconds
left and down by three points, Romo and the offense advanced 51 yards
in 40 seconds and five plays (three passes and two "spikes") from
their own 20-yard line to the Giants 29-yard line, stopping the clock
with six seconds left and setting up a game-tying 47-yard field goal
try. The Giants'
Jason Pierre-Paul blocked the field goal and robbed
the Cowboys of the opportunity for the win in overtime that would have
made it very difficult for the Giants to advance to the playoffs. In
this game, Romo had the highest quarterback rating (141.3) in a losing
effort of any signal-caller for the 2011 season.
In Week 16 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Romo suffered a severely
bruised hand when he smashed it against an opposing player's helmet.
He left the game after attempting just two passes with no completions.
The next week, in the season finale at
MetLife Stadium against the
NFC East title and a playoff spot was at stake for
whichever team won, with the loser eliminated from playoff contention.
Romo started the game despite the hand injury the previous week. He
posted 29 out of 37 passing for 289 yards, two touchdowns and one
interception for a 106.0 QB rating and a 78% pass completion rate
(second highest of the season) as the Cowboys lost the game 31–14,
dropped to an 8–8 record and were eliminated from playoff
Romo accounted for 32 of the 39 total touchdowns the Cowboys scored in
2011 NFL season (
DeMarco Murray had two touchdowns while Felix
Jones, Jon Kitna, Phillip Tanner,
Stephen McGee and defensive back
Terrence Newman each had one). Romo contributed to 82% of the team's
total touchdowns for 2011, and no other player in the 2011 regular
season contributed a higher percentage of team touchdowns (Cam Newton:
72.9%, Matthew Stafford: 71.9%, Drew Brees: 71.2%, Tom Brady: 68.8%,
Aaron Rodgers: 68.5%, and Eli Manning: 63.8%).
Daniel Jeremiah, an NFL.com analyst, ranked Romo as the 9th best
quarterback in the league heading into the 2012 season. The
NFL Top 100
NFL Top 100 ranked Romo as the 12th best
quarterback in the league going into the 2012 season.
In Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Romo threw three touchdown
passes. The first pass, a 23-yard throw to
Dez Bryant with 11:18 left
in the third quarter, gave Romo 166 career touchdown passes,
surpassing the previous franchise record of 165 which had been held by
After trailing the Cincinnati Bengals 19–10 with 6:35 left, Dallas
beat Cincinnati 20–19 in Week 14 (December 9). The fourth quarter
comeback consisted of a 27-yard touchdown pass from Romo to Bryant and
a last-second 40-yard field goal by Bailey. Romo went 25-for-43 for
268 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. 
Topping a three-game winning streak and winning its fifth out of six
games, Dallas beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27–24 in overtime in Week
15 (December 16). The win put Dallas in a three-way tie with New York
and Washington in the NFC East. Romo surpassed 25,000 career passing
yards in this game with 30-for-42 passing for 341 yards and two
However, Dallas finished 2012 with an 8–8 record and failed to make
the playoffs for the third straight season after losing the last two
games. On Week 16 (December 23), despite Romo's four touchdown passes
and 416 passing yards (on 26-for-43 passing), Dallas lost to New
Orleans Saints, 37–34, in overtime. Following that game, Dallas
Washington Redskins had a two-way tie of 8–6 records atop
the NFC East, and faced each other in Week 17 for the
NFC East title,
which Dallas lost, 28–18. With overall 20-for-37 passing, Romo threw
a total of three interceptions, including on Dallas' first two drives.
With 5:50 left and down 21–10, Romo made a touchdown pass to Kevin
Ogletree and two-point conversion pass to Dwayne Harris. After Dallas
took over with 3:33 left down 21–18, Romo threw an interception to
Redskins linebacker Rob Jackson, and Washington clinched the victory
with another touchdown.
Following the season, the future of Romo's career was called into
question. Mac Engel of the
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Fort Worth Star-Telegram commented: "Tony
Romo has one year remaining on his contract, but the time has come for
him to move on...He will be 33 in April of '13, and still has a few
good years left but at this point he needs to go to another team that
needs a quarterback." In a
Fox Sports Southwest
Fox Sports Southwest interview, Rick
The Dallas Morning News
The Dallas Morning News also called Romo "not wired to win
the last game of the season" especially "[i]f it means extending the
season." Dan Graziano of ESPNDallas.com wrote that Romo's "record
starts to become very hard to defend" due to "the oft-cited fact that
he's got just the one playoff win in his entire career."
The Cowboys signed Romo to a 6-year extension worth $108 million, with
55 million guaranteed and $25 million in bonuses, thus securing him
for the rest of his career and relieving the pressure from the salary
cap, which was reported to have less than $25,000 space before the
deal was struck. In the middle of April 2013, he underwent back
surgery to remove a cyst. Although it was characterized as a minor
procedure by the team, he would end up missing all of the mini-camp
and organized team activities.
Romo opened the season with a win over the New York Giants, passing
for 263 yards and two touchdowns. He briefly left the game with a rib
injury, but returned after halftime and finished the game. After Week
7, his 100th career start, Romo had thrown for 27,485 yards, the most
by a quarterback in his first 100 starts since 1960.
In Week 16, against the Washington Redskins, with the Cowboys trailing
in the fourth quarter and needing to win to keep its playoff hopes
alive, he led the team to a touchdown drive with 1:08 remaining in a
24–23 victory, with what was later diagnosed as a season-ending
herniated disk injury.
Jason Garrett would later say: "He
might have had his finest hour … We talk about mental toughness,
being your best, regardless of circumstances. Somehow, some way, he
helped us win that ballgame."
Romo underwent back surgery on December 27, 2013, and was placed on
the Cowboys' injured reserve list. Garrett announced that Kyle Orton
as the starting quarterback for the Week 17 game against the
Philadelphia Eagles, which the team lost 24–22, to miss the playoffs
for a fourth straight year.
After a poor performance in the season opening 28–17 loss versus the
San Francisco 49ers, Romo and the Cowboys won six consecutive games,
including back-to-back road games against the Tennessee Titans and the
St. Louis Rams. The Cowboys also defeated the defending champion
Seattle Seahawks on the road, becoming only the second team to win a
road game against the Seahawks in the three seasons. Through those
six wins, Romo had a 13:3 touchdown:interception ratio. In Week 8, a
Monday night game against the Washington Redskins, Romo went down with
a back injury when linebacker Keenan Robinson sacked him, with his
knee going into Romo's back. After the loss to Washington, it was
revealed that Romo had two fractures in his transverse process. He
missed the next game, a 28–17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, but
came back the next week and went on to lead the Cowboys to a 12–4
record and their first divisional title since 2009.
On December 21, Romo set the
Dallas Cowboys team record for highest
completion percentage in a game with 90%, completing 18 of his 20
passes in a 42–7 blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts. He also
set his personal best quarterback rating in a single game with 151.7.
Romo's 133.7 passer rating in the month of December was the highest in
In the wild card round of the playoffs, Romo led the Cowboys to a
24–20 comeback victory over the Detroit Lions after being down
17–7 at halftime. Romo was 19-of-31 for 293 yards with two
touchdowns and no interceptions.
In the divisional round of the playoffs, Romo and the Cowboys were
defeated by the Green Bay Packers, 26–21. Romo was 15-of-19 for 191
yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Romo led the NFL in completion percentage and passer rating en route
NFC East title, and he was ranked 34th in the NFL's list of the
top 100 players of 2015, the highest undrafted player on the
Romo started strong in the 2015 season, throwing a game-winning pass
Jason Witten with seven seconds left in the Cowboys' season opener
against the New York Giants. He continued to show success in a week 2
victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, but suffered a broken left
collarbone in the third quarter after being sacked by linebacker
Jordan Hicks. The injury sidelined Romo for eight weeks,
during which the Cowboys failed to win a single game with Brandon
Weeden and then
Matt Cassel starting at quarterback.
Romo returned to the starting lineup in a week 11 game against the
Miami Dolphins. Despite throwing two interceptions, he completed 18 of
28 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns in a 24–14 victory,
ending the Cowboys' seven-game losing streak.
The Cowboys then faced the 10–0 Carolina Panthers in a week 12
Thanksgiving game. Although up against an undefeated team and holding
only a 3–7 record, the Romo-led Cowboys were favored to win and
still had hopes for the playoffs in a weak
NFC East division. However,
Romo threw three interceptions in the first half, two of which were
returned for touchdowns, helping the Panthers take a 23–3 lead. At
the end of the third quarter, Romo was sacked by linebacker Thomas
Davis, reinjuring his left shoulder and ending his season. Romo
remained on the active roster until December 21 when he was placed on
injured reserve after the Cowboys dropped to 4–10, officially ending
their playoff hopes.
Romo was unable to start in the 2016 regular season after suffering a
compression fracture to the L1 vertebra in his back during the
Cowboys' third preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. The
injury caused him to miss the first 10 games of the season, with the
duties of the team's starting quarterback being assumed by rookie Dak
Although Cowboys owner
Jerry Jones initially said Romo would remain
the team's starter when he returned, Prescott's success with the
team and the length of Romo's injury led to Jones reconsidering his
decision. Amid Prescott guiding the team to an eight-game winning
streak, Romo conceded his role as starting quarterback to Prescott
and began serving as the Cowboys' backup when he returned to the
active roster in Week 11. Romo made his season debut in the regular
season finale on January 1, 2017, against the Philadelphia Eagles. In
what would prove to be the final play of his career, he threw a
touchdown pass to
Terrance Williams before
Mark Sanchez played the
rest of the game.
On April 4, 2017, Romo announced his retirement from the NFL. After
announcing his retirement, he was released by the Cowboys, per his
request. Following his retirement,
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark
Cuban announced that Romo would be a "Maverick for a day" for the
Mavericks' final home game of their 2016–17 season. He warmed up
with the team and sat in full uniform on the bench, but did not play
in the game and was not considered an official member of the
NFL career statistics
Led the league
Career awards and highlights
Pro Bowl selection (2006, 2007, 2009, 2014)
Second-team All Pro (2014)
NFC passing yards leader (2009)
NFC passing touchdowns leader (2007)
NFL passer rating leader (2014)
NFL completion percentage leader (2014)
2× NFC passer rating leader (2007, 2014)
3× FedEx Air Player of the Week (Week 1, 2007, Week 13, 2007, Week 5,
2× NFC Offensive Player of the Month
Ed Block Courage Award (2011)
Most passing attempts through 100 starts
Most consecutive road games with at least one touchdown pass: 41 (2009
Highest QB rating in month of December (133.7)
Highest QB rating in fourth quarter
Most games in a season with a passer rating of at least 135.0 (6)
Dallas Cowboys team records
Dallas Cowboys career leader in passing touchdowns and passing yards
Games with at least 3 touchdown passes: 40; previously held by Danny
Games with at least 300 yards passing: 46; previously held by Troy
Career passing yards: 33,626, previously held by Aikman (32,942)
Lowest career interception percentage: 2.6% (minimum 16 starts;
previously held by Aikman with 3.0)
Touchdown passes: 245 (previously held by Aikman with 165)
Most fourth quarter comebacks/game-winning drives: 28 (previously held
Roger Staubach with 23)
Consecutive games with a TD pass: 38 (2012–2014); previously held by
Romo (20, 2010–11)
Games with at least 300 yards passing: 9 (2012); previously held by
Romo (8 – 2009)
Passing TDs: 36 (2007); previously held by
Danny White (29)
Passing yards: 4,903 (2012); first and only Cowboys' quarterback to
throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012)
Completions: 405 (2012); previously held by Romo with (347–2009)
Attempts: 611 (2012); previously held by Romo (550–2009)
First quarterback in franchise history to average over 300 passing
yards a game in a season (306.4 – 2012)
Romo twice threw five touchdown passes in a game (November 23, 2006,
and October 6, 2013) a record he shares with
Troy Aikman (September
On December 21, 2014, Romo completed a team record 90.0% of his passes
(18 of 20) in a home game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Most passing yards in a game, 506 yards against the
Denver Broncos on
October 6, 2013.
Following his retirement from the NFL, he was hired by
CBS Sports to
serve as the lead color analyst for the network's NFL telecasts,
working in the booth alongside play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz,
replacing Phil Simms, who was moved to the studio for The NFL
While there was no controversy of Romo deciding to retire and move on
to broadcasting, some critics questioned Romo being immediately hired
for the number one position ahead of broadcasting veterans Dan Fouts,
Trent Green, or Rich Gannon, all of whom served in the number 2–4
positions respectively for CBS, with Fouts having once been the color
commentator on Monday Night Football. While some critics had
speculated that Romo was handed the top position so quickly because he
wore a star on his helmet, other reports cited CBS having grown
tired of Simms in the role, which was a mutual feeling by Simms
himself. Nonetheless, none of the ex-players and coaches in a lead
position on other networks at the time of Romo's hiring (Troy Aikman,
Cris Collinsworth, and Jon Gruden) started their broadcasting career
in the lead position. Simms jokingly asked Romo "How does that
seat feel?" during Week 1 of The NFL Today.
2017 NFL season got underway, Romo received critical praise
for his work as a recent ex-player, most notably for his ability to
predict offensive plays and read defensive formations from the booth,
and "adding an enthusiasm that had been lacking with
As of 2013[update], Romo hosted a youth football camp in Burlington,
Wisconsin, annually during the summer, since 2004. In the
Dallas area, Romo participated in community activities in
collaboration with United Way, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Tony Romo at the AT&T National
Romo is an avid amateur golfer, and attempted to qualify for the 2004
EDS Byron Nelson Championship
EDS Byron Nelson Championship and the 2005 U.S. Open, but failed.
During the offseason, when not training, he plays golf around Dallas.
He failed to make the cut in qualifying for Byron Nelson in 2008.
Romo is also a frequent guest on national sports radio programs.
During the 2006 and 2007 seasons, he was the co-host of "Inside The
Huddle", a one-hour player commentary show that aired on local talk
radio in Dallas along with linebacker Bradie James. Romo was replaced
for the 2008 season by wide receiver Terrell Owens. The show is
broadcast on the
KLLI radio station in Dallas.
In September 2008, Romo signed a 5-year, $10 million endorsement deal
with apparel marketer Starter. On April 8, 2017, it was reported
that Romo would have a one-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks,
wearing #9 with the team for the 2016–17
Dallas Mavericks season
home finale three days later against the Denver Nuggets. While Romo
would not play in the Mavericks' last home game of the season, he
would be honored for his work within the Dallas community that night
before the game began.
Relationship with Jessica Simpson
In November 2007, Romo began dating American singer and actress
Jessica Simpson. On December 16, 2007, Simpson attended a Dallas
Philadelphia Eagles game at Texas Stadium, in which Romo had
a bad performance in the loss to the Eagles. Controversy erupted
before the playoff game against the New York Giants—a game the
Cowboys would lose—when pictures surfaced of Romo (along with
Jason Witten and Bobby Carpenter) at a resort in Cabo San
Lucas with Simpson.
On July 13, 2009, People reported that Romo and Simpson had broken up
on July 9, 2009—the night before her 29th birthday.
Romo's paternal grandfather, Ramiro Romo Sr., emigrated from Múzquiz,
Coahuila, Mexico, to San Antonio, Texas, as an adolescent. The elder
Romo cites Tony's success as an example of the possibilities afforded
to immigrants in the United States: "I've always said this is a
country of opportunities. If you don't get a job or an education, it's
because you don't want to."
Romo is a "Navy brat": he was born while his father Ramiro Romo Jr.
was stationed at the San Diego U.S. Naval Base. The Romos later
returned to Burlington, Wisconsin, where Ramiro would become a
carpenter and construction worker and his wife, Joan, would be a
grocery-store clerk. In September 2007, Ramiro Romo Jr. was
diagnosed with prostate cancer. Romo stated that, while upset about
the family crisis, he still had to continue to focus on his
On May 28, 2011, Romo married Candice Crawford, the 2008 Miss Missouri
USA, a former journalist for Dallas television station KDAF, and the
sister of actor Chace Crawford. They dated since the summer of
2009 and became engaged on December 16, 2010. Their first son
Hawkins Crawford Romo was born on April 9, 2012, and their second,
Rivers Romo, was born on March 18, 2014. The couple welcomed a
third son, Jones McCoy Romo, on August 23, 2017.
Romo is a Christian and has spoken about his faith saying, "My faith
has grown and I found that always having
Jesus makes things a lot
easier in my life. Having
Jesus in your life gives you everlasting
peace, which never goes away. It helps you handle the ups and downs of
Romo is a keen golfer, who plays to a handicap of +0.3. In February
2018, it was announced that he'd received a sponsor's exemption to
play in the PGA Tour's Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship
in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from March 22–25. Romo missed
the cut with scores of 77 and 82, dead last in the 132-man field after
the second round.
List of NFL quarterbacks who have passed for 400 or more yards in a
List of NFL quarterbacks who have thrown at least one TD pass on the
road in 20 consecutive games
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