Jim Nantz and Tony Romo make up one of the most popular NFL broadcasting teams today. Romo has surprised fans with his ability to read defenses and predict plays from the booth. His fun, affable personality encourages viewers to tune into CBS even if they weren’t football experts.
Nantz provides the perfect broadcasting partner. Over his 30-plus-year career, he’s made some of the most legendary calls in sports history. Together, the two men usher in a new era of football commentary every week.
Tony Romo’s football career
Romo played baseball and football in high school, but his career on the gridiron truly began in college. Playing for Eastern Illinois University, he capped a successful college football career with the Walter Payton award. (The honor demonstrated his domination in the Division I-AA football, now known as the FCS.)
Despite going undrafted, Romo signed with the Dallas Cowboys, who had a 5-11 record every year since Troy Aikman left. Romo backed up a revolving door of quarterbacks between 2003 and 2006, including Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testaverde, and Drew Bledsoe. The team found minor success but hadn’t discovered their next franchise QB.
Romo eventually replaced Bledsoe as starting QB in October 2006. The Cowboys spent the next decade perpetually contending for the NFC crown but never quite making it to the Super Bowl. Dallas had an almost magical tendency to fall apart in the postseason.
Romo officially retired in 2017 with some of the most impressive individual quarterback stats in history. Almost immediately after his retirement, he accepted the position alongside Nantz. And fans wondered how he’d do as an NFL commentator.
Tony Romo and Jim Nantz in the booth
Nantz, meanwhile, came from the school of broadcasting rather than football. He began covering sports in his early twenties for KHOU Houston and BYU, making the move to CBS a few years after college. In his 35th year with the network, Nantz has performed lead play-by-play duties for CBS since 2004.
When the two began working together in 2017, they garnered praise almost immediately. Even Nantz recognizes the incredible talent and attitude that Romo brings to the booth.
Comparing him to the legendary John Madden, Nantz even predicted Romo would one day be more famous as a great broadcaster than a quarterback. Things may be different if he’d won a Super Bowl but Romo’s career still had plenty of great moments. It’s high praise for Nantz to say Romo could outshine his quarterback self in the booth.
Salary differences and Romo’s future
Romo is currently pulling in $4 million per year as a broadcaster. With his long broadcasting history, it makes sense that Nantz earns slightly more: $5 million per year. However, Romo dwarfs Nantz in net worth. He spent a decade as a star NFL quarterback, after all.
Additionally, the former QB has made appearances in plenty of commercials including a memorable Corona campaign. According to recent estimates, Romo’s net worth is $70 million or so. Nantz breaks $15 million with his long broadcasting career and Titleist deal.
Due to recent news out of ESPN, their wealth differential could soon grow higher. Sources are reporting that Romo could be tapped to replace the divisive Booger McFarland for the 2020 season. ESPN would certainly make the job worth it to Romo, offering over $10 million for the role.
Three years ago, Romo seemed like a quarterback on the decline with uncertain retirement plans. Today, he’s poised to become the highest-paid broadcaster in history.
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