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Even the most hardened Dallas Cowboys hater has to admit that Tony Romo is doing pretty well for himself. During his time in Texas, the quarterback had a solid career under center; since moving to the broadcast booth, he’s become a fan-favorite and earned a massive contract. Romo, however, still has experienced his share of regrets.

While experiencing failure could derail anyone’s confidence, Tony Romo didn’t let disappointment stop him. Instead, the quarterback’s on-field disappointment helped make him a record-setting broadcaster.

Tony Romo’s career with the Dallas Cowboys

In the world of professional sports, certain positions carry a massive amount of pressure and prestige. As Tony Romo learned first hand, playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys is one of those jobs.

Before joining America’s Team, though, Romo played his college ball at Eastern Illinois University. While the Panthers aren’t exactly a national powerhouse, the quarterback still managed to make headlines; as documented by EIU’s official website, Romo threw for 8,212 yards and 85 touchdowns during his three seasons under center.

Despite that impressive stat line, Romo went unselected in the 2003 NFL draft. He signed a free-agent deal with the Dallas Cowboys and spent two seasons on the bench. In 2006, however, everything changed as he seized the starting job from Drew Bledsoe.

While injuries would eventually slow him down, Romo started a total of 127 games for the Cowboys. The team never made it over the hump, but the quarterback wasn’t to blame; he threw for a total of 34,183 yards and 248 touchdowns, earning four Pro Bowl berths and winning 78 games.

A rising star in the broadcast booth

While many former athletes find themselves in the broadcast booth, it’s not always an easy transition. Tony Romo, however, didn’t miss a beat after heading upstairs.

After retiring from the NFL, Romo signed a deal with CBS and teamed up with Jim Nantz. The two men quickly became a dynamic duo. The former quarterback has proven to be adept at breaking down the game in a detailed, yet accessible, manner; he’s able to toe the line between knowledge and enthusiasm, getting fired up about a big play without delving into homerism. Nantz also deserves some credit, as he’s able to set his broadcast partner up with ease.

While fans have taken to Romo as a broadcaster, his bosses also appreciate his performances. Earlier in 2020, CBS inked the former quarterback to a massive, $17 million-per-season contract; that deal sets a new highwater mark for an NFL broadcaster.

Tony Romo’s on-field failures inspired him to be an elite broadcaster

At every stage of his career, Tony Romo has always found success. An NFL failure, however, motivated the quarterback to become the best broadcaster he could possibly be.

As documented by Steve Politi of NJ Advance Media, Romo’s first trip to the Super Bowl came as a broadcaster rather than a player. Prior to the big game, that reality wasn’t lost on the former Dallas Cowboy.

“I never got here (as a player),” Romo explained in January 2019. “That’s one of my biggest disappointments. I wasn’t able to do that. You put your whole body, your heart, everything into it, and you try, but it’s something you have to live with.”

That reality, however, came with a silver lining. The failure—if you can really call it that, since football is a team game—served as an inspiration. Romo never wants to come up short ever again.

“It’s just a different life,” Romo explained, according to Politi. “You move on. You’re disappointed, you give everything you’ve got, and then it’s like anything else. You move on. I don’t look back a ton. I just go to the next step, the next phase, and try to make that as great as it can possibly be.”

During his brief time in the broadcast booth, Tony Romo is living up to those words. After only a few seasons behind the microphone, he’s already showing signs of greatness.

Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference