NEW YORK -- There were four teams that Tony Romo honed in on before ultimately deciding to become a broadcaster for CBS.
That's what the former Cowboys quarterback said Wednesday at a network talent availability, less than two weeks ahead of his national television debut. When asked specifically if he considered joining the quarterback-needy Jets, Romo said: "I took a look at them, I'm not going to say if they were in the final four, but I did take a look."
"I went through a lot of teams," Romo said. "There was a lot of discussion about, you know -- I narrowed the focus to about four teams and from there, obviously I made the decision to come to CBS and I felt the opportunity was just too big to pass up getting to work with a Jim Nantz, CBS and this thing. It was too set up perfectly."
Romo added later that Jay Cutler's return to broadcasting gave him "no pause, I was in the middle of grinding to get ready for this."
"Jay can still play great football. He knows the system there. He'll probably help us, because maybe the Dolphins will be good," Romo said.
Jim Nantz, Romo's broadcasting partner, also added a response to the question which clarified just how devoted Romo was to broadcasting. Based on the legwork Romo had already done on his new career, it would have been quite difficult to back out.
"I covered Jay's entire career. He's a lot younger than Tony. He hasn't had the injuries Tony's had to deal with. But I saw the interview (Cutler did with Peter King in Sports Illustrated), and he said he really hadn't done anything on the broadcasting side," Nantz said. "I can tell you that Tony has approached this -- and I'm not saying anything about Jay -- it's just that Tony has relished this opportunity and you can tell that he's all in."
So ends the remaining speculation about Romo's playing career. His connection with the Jets would have been interesting, and could have easily altered the franchise's immediate fortunes. In an all-out youth movement this winter and spring, the Jets parted ways with a handful of high-profile veterans including Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis. As NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported earlier this week, they are also looking to shop running back Matt Forte's contract before the season begins.
Might all of those players still be on the Jets if Romo was there? How differently would the energy be around a team that was one game from the playoffs in 2015, only to a 5-11 record the year after?