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As an undrafted rookie, Cardinals offered Tony Romo the most money

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Tony Romo has retired after one of the greatest careers ever for a player who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent. The Cowboys were the team that signed him after all seven rounds of the draft passed without Romo’s name being called, but things could have unfolded very differently.

Romo told Peter King of TheMMQB.com that it was actually the Cardinals who were offering him the most money, and the Broncos who were offering him the clearest path to making the 53-man roster.

“I actually wanted to go to Denver a little bit more, I felt like I had a better chance of making the roster,” Romo said. “The money . . . Arizona, I believe, offered the most, probably around $20,000 or $25,000, which was like being rich at that time. Denver came in and they were like 15 to 20 but they also had Mike Shanahan who I had strong respect for, and obviously the Cowboys came in. It was Mike Shanahan on one side and then Bill Parcells on the other. Sean [Payton] would call in and then eventually he passed the phone to Jerry [Jones], so you went through the whole gamut.”

It was Payton, then the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach, who connected with Romo because they both went to Eastern Illinois and sealed the deal for Romo to go to Dallas. And Romo said that ultimately, his gut told him that being with Parcells, Payton and Jones was the right place for him to be. Even if the money would have been better elsewhere.

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39 Responses to “As an undrafted rookie, Cardinals offered Tony Romo the most money”
  1. filmex2000 says: Apr 10, 2017 8:53 AM

    As a Cards fan, let me say, “Whew!”

    All we need is another glass-jawed Kevin Kolb who plays one game, sees his porcelain body crushed, and goes off fly-fishing while the Cards continue to pay him a fortune.

  2. kayakattack says: Apr 10, 2017 8:59 AM

    Glad they dodged that bullet or the Cards would have never made it to the super bowl

  3. tdshouldbeinthehall says: Apr 10, 2017 9:00 AM

    So he waisted his career in Dallas when he would have won multiple Super Bowls in Denver. Nice choice.

  4. bertilfox says: Apr 10, 2017 9:04 AM

    He would’ve been better off in Denver IMO.

  5. esracerx46 says: Apr 10, 2017 9:06 AM

    Shanahan went to Eastern Illinois as well…

  6. gtodriver says: Apr 10, 2017 9:08 AM

    ^
    I think you’re a little over the top there…

    Once Romo earned the starting job, he started the rest of the games in 2006.

    In 2007 he started all 16, in 2008 he started 13 games, in 2009 it was back up to 16, in 2010 he missed 10 games, in 2011 – 2014 he started 62 of 64 games.

    While Romo was not a Brett Favre as far as durability goes, he wasn’t that far off the norm for a QB that spent 12 years in the league.

  7. truecowboyfan says: Apr 10, 2017 9:08 AM

    Cards fans talking trash about Romo. Now I’ve seen it all.

  8. dukeearl says: Apr 10, 2017 9:19 AM

    A cowboy fan talking is if Romo was any good… not surprising.

  9. tqaztec says: Apr 10, 2017 9:20 AM

    Parcells said he wasn’t a winner. Looks like he was right.

  10. dartmouthstevens says: Apr 10, 2017 9:22 AM

    @gtodriver
    You look at Aaron Rodgers, the Mannings, Brees, Brady. Those are the top of the QBs from his playing time. They have all missed about 1 around total throughout their careers. Romo missed over 2 seasons in the last 3. He did not age well.

    To quote BB: Often the best ability is availability.

  11. cakesw says: Apr 10, 2017 9:25 AM

    As a lifelong Cardinal fan, I apologise for the Cardinal fans in here who clearly have fallen off the stupid shelf in the supermarket
    ..

    We trotted out John Skelton, Max Hall, Kevin Kolb, cut a first round draft pick for DEREK ANDERSON…

    Arguably the worst batch of starters to set foot on a filed for years…

    And people are in here exclaimg “whew” over almost having Tony Romo ????

  12. bert1913 says: Apr 10, 2017 9:27 AM

    Tony wants to win a superbowl this year, not barely make the playoffs

  13. jrmotiz says: Apr 10, 2017 9:35 AM

    Any article that mentions Romo has “one of the greatest careers ever for a player who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent,” and then doesnt immediately mention how Kurt Warner was much better, is disingenuous to say the least.

    Romo never won anything. Ever.

  14. maestro1899 says: Apr 10, 2017 9:38 AM

    It was Payton, then the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach, who connected with Romo because they both went to Eastern Illinois and sealed the deal for Romo to go to Dallas.
    – – –

    Mike Shannahan, Denver’s coach at the time, also went to Eastern Illinois.

  15. newmancave2016 says: Apr 10, 2017 9:57 AM

    Romo was talented, but he was a choker. The same goes for McNabb. Maybe Cowboys and Eagles fans can at least agree on that. Neither aged well, probably because they didn’t take the game seriously enough and couldn’t keep playing once their physical gifts started to diminish.

  16. onebuffalove716 says: Apr 10, 2017 10:09 AM

    ny article that mentions Romo has “one of the greatest careers ever for a player who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent,” and then doesnt immediately mention how Kurt Warner was much better, is disingenuous to say the least.

    Romo never won anything. Ever.

    It appears your reading comprehension is rudimentary at best….”One of the best”, doesn’t imply there were not others who were greater. Kurt Warner does not need to be mentioned in an article about Tony Romo, as this is not a compilation of greatest careers for players undrafted.
    Stop acting like this is an insult to Kurt Warner. ANd in no way was this article disingenuous in the least.

  17. najacoo22 says: Apr 10, 2017 10:11 AM

    jrmotiz says:
    Apr 10, 2017 9:35 AM
    Any article that mentions Romo has “one of the greatest careers ever for a player who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent,” and then doesnt immediately mention how Kurt Warner was much better, is disingenuous to say the least.

    Romo never won anything. Ever.

    —————-

    I’m a Redskins fan and didn’t particularly care for Romo because he played for the Cowboys and was pretty successful, in the regular season at least. Kurt Warner was better, that doesn’t mean Romo didn’t have one of the greatest UDFA careers. Chill out.

  18. absolutevisuals says: Apr 10, 2017 10:15 AM

    “dartmouthstevens says:
    Apr 10, 2017 9:22 AM
    @gtodriver
    You look at Aaron Rodgers, the Mannings, Brees, Brady.”

    Their teams also make sure to protect them.

  19. holidlove says: Apr 10, 2017 10:16 AM

    jrmotiz says:
    Apr 10, 2017 9:35 AM
    Any article that mentions Romo has “one of the greatest careers ever for a player who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent,” and then doesnt immediately mention how Kurt Warner was much better, is disingenuous to say the least.

    Romo never won anything. Ever.

    – – – – –

    I wouldn’t call it disingenuous. It kind of goes without saying that Kurt Warner was one of the best in a group that includes Warren Moon, Adam Vinatieri, and James Harrison, among others. However, I do agree that compared to some of them, Romo is an also-ran.

  20. redsoxu571 says: Apr 10, 2017 10:18 AM

    Anyone on here making fun of Romo (no, isn’t overrated, no, he was not a choker, and yes, he had worse supporting casts than every other name being brought up…as if it is an insult to be worse than a Rodgers or Brady anyways) is just reflecting poorly on him or herself. I don’t know why you would say negative things about Romo, but you’re either painfully stupid or a massive troll – and in either case, I would hate to be you. Pathetic.

    Also, to the absolute nincompoop who said that Romo is worse than Kurt Warner – seriously, just go and look at those Rams offenses again. That might have been the best supporting cast for a QB EVER. Not to mention that Warner TWICE lost his job to rookie QBs, and in both cases he was many years younger than when Romo was displaced. Warner was a product of the pieces around him; Romo for years and years was productive with mediocre pieces around him. Stick to the facts, please.

  21. slippery59 says: Apr 10, 2017 10:32 AM

    Any article that mentions Romo has “one of the greatest careers ever for a player who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent,” and then doesnt immediately mention how Kurt Warner was much better, is disingenuous to say the least.

    Romo never won anything. Ever.
    ———————————————————————
    ONE OF, not THE greatest, but ONE OF…….read people!

  22. pancaketaco says: Apr 10, 2017 10:45 AM

    *Tony Romo has retired after one of the greatest careers ever for a player who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent.

    *Excluding Holding For Extra Points.

  23. magebfd says: Apr 10, 2017 10:50 AM

    I’m glad he didn’t play in Denver. We would have never been blessed with the Manning years.

  24. norsehorse88 says: Apr 10, 2017 10:56 AM

    He realized that if he played for the Broncos or Cardinals, it would clash with his January golf schedule. A problem that greatly diminished by playing for Jerrah and dem Cowboys.

  25. ggreen657 says: Apr 10, 2017 10:58 AM

    This guy won 2 playoff games in his entire career. 2!! And people act like he belongs in the HOF. Heck, Phil Simms had a better career than Romo. So overrated.

  26. QB Film Room says: Apr 10, 2017 11:10 AM

    Sean Payton, Tony Romo, Brad Childress! ..Mike Shanahan and One more I believe…

  27. mrboado says: Apr 10, 2017 11:39 AM

    Would have loved to see Romo in Arizona throwing to Fitz and Boldin–outstanding football.

    But, you can’t go back in time without altering it.

    Romo signed as a free agent in 2003. That was the year we signed Josh McCown and had the one-and-done Blake.

    Warner didn’t come in until 2005 and Matt Leinart was drafted in 2006.

    If Romo developed as a starting QB during that time, it’s hard to imagine Coach Dennis Green bringing in or drafting someone to replace him. Warner was brought in after a decent season with the Giants, so I can still see that happening. Competition at the position.

    But, once again, if Romo developed as a starting QB, Dennis Green may have lasted a bit longer and Arizona probably doesn’t draft Leinart at 10. Maybe they go defense and get Ngata, Greenway, or Cromartie.

    Glad we got Warner. Glad Romo had a good career in Dallas. Life’s good.

  28. President Ackbar says: Apr 10, 2017 12:29 PM

    Thank god we didn’t get stuck with that loser!

  29. JaminJake says: Apr 10, 2017 12:44 PM

    Anyone who could.plains about Romo is just a darn troll. These guy almost single handedly brought the cowboys back to prominence. Working with Jerruh isn’t easy, but Romo found a way to thrive despite the endless baseless criticism he faced.

  30. curtj5 says: Apr 10, 2017 2:01 PM

    Wasn’t it the defenses fault multiple years that the Cowboys had a top offense with Romo?

    I tend to agree, he mighta won a Superbowl with Denver

  31. conormacleod says: Apr 10, 2017 2:16 PM

    This dude literally had more season ending surgeries than he had playoff wins. I absolutely do not get the fascination with how people think he was this great QB. I wouldn’t take him on my team if somebody else paid his salary. What has he ever done? Ever?!

  32. conormacleod says: Apr 10, 2017 2:18 PM

    JaminJake says:
    Apr 10, 2017 12:44 PM

    Anyone who could.plains about Romo is just a darn troll. These guy almost single handedly brought the cowboys back to prominence. Working with Jerruh isn’t easy, but Romo found a way to thrive despite the endless baseless criticism he faced.
    —————-
    Ya. I mean, it’s not like he did nothing in the playoffs with the best o-line in the league and the leagues leading rusher. Or that a rookie QB waltzed in from out of town and did better than he ever did with the Cowboys. Oh….wait…..

  33. kmartin173 says: Apr 10, 2017 2:20 PM

    Never ceases to amaze me how people always want to make excuses for Romo. The guy played with plenty of talent, he’s just not a winner, plain and simple. McNabb made multiple NFC championship games and Super Bowl appearances in his career, Romo won half as many playoff games as Mark Sanchez.

  34. calizcowboyz says: Apr 10, 2017 2:38 PM

    Idiots. How many other UNDRAFTED quarterbacks had a better career.

    Stop mentioning sanchez and other First round top 10 Nfl picks.

    UnDrafted romo holds ALL Cowboys qb records.

    get a clue stop being a hater and spill some logic every now and then eh?

  35. thegreatjimbrown says: Apr 10, 2017 2:41 PM

    “Any article that mentions Romo has “one of the greatest careers ever for a player who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent,” and then doesnt immediately mention how Kurt Warner was much better, is disingenuous to say the least.”

    Nope, Kurt didn’t make it as an undrafted free agent. Romo was signed right after the draft. Warner wasn’t signed by anybody after the draft. GB brought him in as a “try-out” player but he didn’t make the squad. Then he worked in a grocery store and then played Arena Ball for 2 years. So Warner was signed to the NFL as an Arena Ball player and played in Europe for the Rams before he ever played in the NFL.

    Completely different career path. The author was correct about Romo.

  36. President Ackbar says: Apr 10, 2017 8:05 PM

    Warner tops list of best undrafted free agents of all time

    Warren Moon and John Randle are among 14 players who made it to the Hall of Fame despite not being drafted.

    It’s always a benefit when a team’s first-round draft pick meets those lofty expectations. And it’s a real bonus when mid- to low-round selections exceed their expectations. This, of course, has been at the heart of NFL.com’s voting platform to determine the best draft picks in NFL history.

    Then there is the ultimate satisfaction of signing a player who was passed over entirely in the draft and seeing him become a productive pro. Talk about return on investment!

    So, as the NFL celebrates 75 years of the draft by asking fans to vote on the 75 most valuable draft picks of all time, here’s a look at the 75 best undrafted free agents of all time:

    1. Kurt Warner, QB, Northern Iowa

  37. President Ackbar says: Apr 10, 2017 8:08 PM

    THE 25 BEST UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT SIGNINGS IN NFL HISTORY

    1. QB Kurt Warner, Northern Iowa

    The best undrafted free agent in NFL history is quarterback Kurt Warner, who helped architect the St. Louis Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” from 1999-2001, and then later returned to the Super Bowl at the helm of the Arizona Cardinals offense in 2009.

    Warner was initially a 1994 undrafted free agent signing of the Green Bay Packers, but he was released prior to the regular season.

  38. President Ackbar says: Apr 10, 2017 8:43 PM

    Kurt Warner was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Green Bay Packers in 1994.

  39. theuglitruth says: Apr 14, 2017 11:57 AM

    Once a loser, always a loser. Romo never had it in him.

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