Tony Romo’s rookie season in the CBS broadcast booth is fast becoming a victory tour.
In his first two national broadcasts — Sunday’s Packers-Bengals game and Thursday night’s Packers-Bears meeting — he was analytical, prescient and witty with a smidge of self-deprecating humor thrown in.
Yes, Romo made reference Thursday in Green Bay to when last we saw him playing for the Cowboys at Lambeau Field in the 2014 playoffs. Recall that’s when Dez Bryant’s apparent late fourth-quarter touchdown reception was ruled incomplete. It was a rude homecoming for a Wisconsin-raised quarterback.
Romo’s enthusiasm has been off the charts. And yes, the camera loves his boyish facial expressions.
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But Romo’s predicting plays about to be a run has become his shtick.
Sunday he called a blitz from Packers defensive back Josh Jones that nailed Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. “Heads up for pressure here,” he told viewers. He even managed to circle Jones on his telestrator before the snap. That got him big points in CBS production circles.
Later, Romo predicted a run on a third-and-3 call. A run followed. His play-by-play partner Jim Nantz marveled.
Romo explained he simply counted defenders “in the box.” Against five, as the Cowboys quarterback in that situation, he said he would have called a run. Against six, he would have opted for a pass.
“I saw five,” he told Nantz. “I played the percentages.”
On Thursday, a spoiler alert came in the third quarter on a fourth-and-1 with the Packers, leading 21-7, driving in Bears territory.
“I think (Aaron Rodgers) bootlegs here,” Romo told Nantz. “I’m going with a bootleg. (Packer coach Mike) McCarthy’s one of those bootleg guys, isn’t he?” He said he was certain after he saw the way running back Randall Cobb lined up.
“I could have bet you more than $5 this time,” he told Nantz. “That had a high percentage shot of being play action.”
Romo will be back on display Sunday when he and Nantz call the Oakland Raiders-Denver Broncos at 4:25 p.m. ET.