Athletes frequently grow up playing multiple sports, and many others continue that balancing act in college. Some, including NFL legend Deion Sanders, even played two professional sports — in his case, baseball and football — within days of one another.
If not for NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Romo could have joined that club in the spring of 2017.
Tony Romo had a long run with the Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo was one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks for nearly a decade, at least when he stayed in the lineup.
From 2006-14, Romo completed 65.2% of his passes for 33,270 yards, 242 touchdowns, and 110 interceptions in 129 starts for the Dallas Cowboys. Romo often had nagging injuries, and his health problems cost the Cowboys a playoff spot in 2008 and 2013.
Romo went 78-49 as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback and guided them to four playoff berths, but never went further than the NFC divisional round.
Considering that Romo went undrafted in 2003 and didn’t throw a regular-season pass until 2006, he certainly had a career worth remembering.
Mark Cuban briefly signed Romo to the Mavericks in 2017
After an injury-plagued campaign in 2015, Tony Romo prepared to enter the 2016 season as the Dallas Cowboys’ starting quarterback.
Injuries struck again, and Romo handed the keys over to rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. The rest is history, and Romo only played in the Week 17 finale — a meaningless game where Prescott didn’t need to play the full 60 minutes.
Rather than try to land a starting job elsewhere, Romo retired after the season. Romo quickly signed with CBS and joined Jim Nantz on the network’s top broadcast team.
CBS wasn’t the only organization that signed Romo after he left the Cowboys. Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks inked Romo to a one-day contract in April 2017.
The NBA refused to let Tony Romo play for the Dallas Mavericks
However, the NBA quickly shot down Cuban’s plans. Although Romo was free to participate in pregame workouts and shootaround with the Mavericks, he could not play in the game.
According to ESPN, Cuban defended allowing Romo to participate in the Mavericks’ layup line before the game began.
“Anybody who thinks a layup line is disrespectful, hasn’t watched an NBA game. We’ve got people shooting half-court shots at every break, we’ve got kids for ball boys … We’re entertainment. And if they’re so self-important they can’t recognize that, it’s on them. Not me.”
Romo, who wore his trademark No. 9 with the Mavericks, fondly looked back at the experience.
“I feel like they’re all 7 feet tall,” Romo said. “They’re all long and lean. I look like a turtle out there next to these guys. But it’s a special group of guys who are talented and the NBA is a special fraternity.”
Denver defeated Dallas, 109-91, at the American Airlines Center that night.