Tony Romo won’t discuss CBS contract, recalls playing hardball with Jones and Parcells

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Tony Romo is in no mood to discuss the reported 10-year, $180 million contract he just signed with CBS. But he will discuss the importance of demanding what you’re worth.

“I’m not going to go into detail with the contract stuff,” Romo told Graham Bensinger. “I just don’t like talking about contract stuff.”

Romo then offered an example of a contract he would talk about: The one he signed with the Cowboys before the 2006 season. At that point, Romo had been with the Cowboys for three years but had never thrown a pass in a regular-season game. The Cowboys thought they could get Romo to sign an extension for a $500,000 signing bonus, but Romo demanded a $2 million signing bonus and got it.

“Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells sit me down right before a preseason game,” Romo recalled. “They’re like, ‘We need you to sign this deal for $500,000.’ I’m making the league minimum, $250,000 or so. I told them, ‘The only way you’ll play me is if you have something invested in me that makes you want to see if I’m worth it.’ I told them $2 million. ‘For that, I feel like you’ll want to put me in a game to see.’ Believe me, I didn’t want to do it. It was as nerve-wracking a situation as I’ve ever been in.”

Romo said that Jones and Parcells agreed, and he got his $2 million signing bonus.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh I’m the richest guy in the world. I just got $2 million,'” Romo said.

Romo learned years later that Jones and Parcells were impressed with his moxie, and liked that he was willing to stand up for himself and demand what he thought he was worth. Romo remembered that lesson this year, and demanded that CBS pay him what he’s worth as well.

40 responses to “Tony Romo won’t discuss CBS contract, recalls playing hardball with Jones and Parcells

  1. I like Romo very much but his salary is crazy because his job will not put a single extra person eyes to the television set. So dumb.

  2. Not a cowboys fan at all, but Romo is as likable a guy as there is. And probably the most interesting game caller out there.

  3. Sometimes that’s good advice. Sometimes, it’s not. Ask LeVeon Bell or Melvin Gordon for their stories.

  4. Paul says:
    March 27, 2020 at 5:15 am
    I like Romo very much but his salary is crazy because his job will not put a single extra person eyes to the television set. So dumb.
    ___________________________________________________

    You have a point somewhat, buy he makes it a lot more entertaining. MNF is unwatchable, there is your barometer.

  5. Looks like Romo’s recollection was a bit off here. According to online records of his contracts, he had made more money in his third season (2005) than he recalled, and that was the first of a two season contract he had signed as an exclusive rights free agent. He was already under contract for 2006, but it appears that the Cowboys were willing/interested in giving him a raise, probably in the amount he would have gotten as a restricted free agent had he not signed a two year deal. Note that Romo was not getting more total money in 2006, but rather wanted more in guarantees (he didn’t get a lump $2M bonus, but rather a total of $2M guaranteed). Having the majority of his 2006 cap number guaranteed was not about getting the team to play him, but rather to incentivize the team in keeping him on the roster and not cutting him, which the team likely already wanted to do (he did get more cash in his pocket immediately too, which meant nothing to the Cowboys).

  6. what was the final count on the number of playoff games won by Tony?
    2 or 3? Haha!!!!

  7. redsoxu571 says:
    March 27, 2020 at 7:59 am
    Looks like Romo’s recollection was a bit off here. According to online records of his contract

    —————–
    I reread the article, and Tony never actually says or infers it was a signing bonus.You are probably right – it was a $2 million guaranteed salary.

  8. I don’t see why people get all concerned about how much someone is making.

    I say good for Tony Romo.

  9. tinkletinkleonyourstar says:
    March 27, 2020 at 8:23 am
    what was the final count on the number of playoff games won by Tony?
    2 or 3? Haha!!!!

    ————————

    That wasn’t on him – he was in a position where he was having to try to win games 51-50. Their poor defense led to him having to take more risks, which sometimes didn’t always work out.

  10. If the hard negotiations worked out, great story. If they didn’t, the move made was flawed. The Monday Morning Quarterbacking on contract negotiations is similar to the draft, trades, and play calling during games.

  11. Paul says:
    March 27, 2020 at 5:15 am
    I like Romo very much but his salary is crazy because his job will not put a single extra person eyes to the television set. So dumb.

    ———————————

    No but paying him that and locking him up prevents him from going to the competition.. ESPN and Monday Night Football.
    It isn’t like CBS has a salary cap to worry about. They got their QB for locked up for the long haul lol

  12. Just wish one of the networks would gamble on a color person from outside football. Cosell was good because of his non footballs stuff and Romo is great at predicting the on field action but there are times I would like a Barekly or Walton type of color person who can be truthful, entertaining, and occasionally go off-subject as well

  13. how many people will really turn off a game because of an announcer? I wont. I love the game especially college where there are so many announcing teams that many are terrible

  14. Romo is a Cowboys cheerleader and should be banned from doing their games. He is a clone of Joe Theismann as an analyst because he never shuts up and he tries to make himself look like a genius, just like Theismann did.
    I turn the sound down when Romo is doing a game I am watching. He stinks.

  15. For years Romo scrambled for his life behind a porous line with a smile on his face showing he had achieved much more than he ever thought he would, he’s still smiling.

  16. Paul says:
    March 27, 2020 at 5:15 am
    I like Romo very much but his salary is crazy because his job will not put a single extra person eyes to the television set. So dumb.
    ————————————–
    Agree except with liking Romo.
    I have not EVER watched a game because of a TV announcer.

  17. Romo doing color kinda reminds me of Madden back in his hay-days.
    They’re definitely different,.. but the Romo style livens up the experience for viewers, just like Madden did with his “boom” “bam” etc,….
    Being an ex QB,.. Romo can visualize and describe many plays before they happen. And he does it using plain english that an 8th grader could understand. He pairs with Jim Nantz very nicely. It’s a good fit,… Plus I like Romo’s humor.

  18. So the stories that Jones likes to corner the reps about contracts are true! Why wasn’t TR’s agent the one negotiating? Jones and Parcels learned to corner the players who don’t know the business side. Sounds like Tony came out alright, but still he shouldn’t have been the one.

  19. I was actually surprised how much I liked him in the booth. I was never a Cowboys fan, so I didnt tune in for him. Its good to see get people paid who deserve it.

  20. Why all the hype for a guy with 2 career playoff wins? One of them was over washed-up McNabb as well.

  21. He’s very good but talks too much sometimes.
    ———–
    I’d rather have someone in the booth who’s excited to be there, as opposed to someone who is just mailing it in. Hawk Haralson wasn’t a great announcer by any means, but he sure was more entertaining than some of the guys who just mail it in.

  22. I fully expected, and kind of wanted, to NOT like Romo in the booth. I failed. He’s excellent calling games, not only because of his insight as a former NFL QB but also because of his delivery. He sounds like he’s talking to his buddies, at home in the basement, watching football. I wish Fox had landed him so he could do more Packer games.

  23. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh I’m the richest guy in the world. I just got $2 million,’” Romo said.

    So relatable…I mean, who hasn’t been naive enough to say that in their 20s. Amirite?

  24. I don’t know what’s not to like about Tony Romo. The guy has a great rags to riches story and he was sure fun to watch scrambling for his life at times and making unbelievable plays. I’m a lifelong Cowboys fan and it’s great to see him doing well in his second career. The pairing with golf announcer Jim Nantz is excellent. Tony is so exuberant and Jim is rock steady. I was happy to see Phil Simms replaced on the CBS number one team because there’s a guy that was mailing it in. I love how Tony accurately predicts the play before it unfolds. He is genuinely excited by the opportunity he sees on the field and it’s always fun to see if the QB that’s playing sees it to. I guess I’m saying that he’s a humble guy and not a show off. He’s got a lot of intelligence and experience in his brain bucket and I’m grateful that he shares it with thinking sports fans. Long live No. 9. Go Cowboys.

  25. I would have loved to see how far Romo could have taken that Cowboy team if he had Zeke, Amari and that O-Line.

  26. Paul says:
    March 27, 2020 at 5:15 am

    I like Romo very much but his salary is crazy because his job will not put a single extra person eyes to the television set. So dumb.
    ——————————

    What’s really gonna cook your noodle is the amount of money they are going to make.
    Show biz

  27. “….there are times I would like a Barekly or Walton type of color person who can be truthful, entertaining, and occasionally go off-subject as well”

    I was only a teenager, but I can clearly recall Dennis Miller being a massive failure in the football booth.

  28. I’ve tried that tactic, and it works – with the right people. On the other hand, if they turn you down it’s a good sign you should go somewhere else where you’ll be valued more.

    Lot harder to do in the NFL though.

  29. tinkletinkleonyourstar says:
    March 27, 2020 at 8:23 am
    what was the final count on the number of playoff games won by Tony?
    2 or 3? Haha!!!!

    ============

    Romo spent his career running for his life behind a terrible OL, in the days before Jones realized that a good OL is the foundation of any good football team.

    If Romo had the kind of superb OL that Dak was handed when he started, I genuinely believe Romo would have won a Super Bowl.

    Romo was the kind of QB who could make any throw on the field and evade pressure instinctively, but he was constantly under pressure. It was painful to watch – he was always on the run.

    Anyone who laughs at Romo has forgotten the time he beat the 49ers with a cracked rib and punctured lung.

  30. I always root for whoever is playing the ‘Boys, but he is a good guy. He did the right thing when he asked for the $2 Million. He’s the best announcer in the NFL now and a pleasure to listen to.

  31. He’s worth every penny. I watch games just to hear him analyze. And I’m a Giants fan and hated the Cowboys. Always respected Romo though.

  32. crappygovernment says:
    March 27, 2020 at 11:57 am

    “Why all the hype for a guy with 2 career playoff wins? One of them was over washed-up McNabb as well.”

    What the hell does that matter. Lots of great announcers never played the sport they cover.

  33. People who are in the media (and CBS are) live so far inside their little world that they are so out of touch with what the normal viewer wants. Like, they really think Tony Romo is worth 18 million a year to announce football games. It reminds me of NBC’s coverage of the Olympics and all these “vignettes” they do on the life stories of the competitors, how they spend more time on those bio-pics than on showing the actual damn events, because they think that’s what the typical viewer cares more about, “the stories, the personalities” instead of watching some great athletic feats. No, that’s what the MEDIA people like Bob Costas care about, because it is their job to get interviews and such, but the typical viewer just wants to see some great action. Similarly, the typical viewer probably isnt even going to notice Tony Romo is there or if you replaced him with some guy who cost you 1mill a year

  34. Also, I love how magnanimous everyone is with “Good for Romo!” about him getting paid 18mill a year just to sit in a booth announcing football games, but they sing a different tune if a businessman is pulling in that type of coin, for providing a product or service that is much more vital than announcing a football game, yet suddenly it becomes not “Well, that person earned it through a lifetime of work and sacrifices”. No, suddenly it is “He is so privileged…how greedy…the 1% who keep hoarding it all” etc

  35. Paul says:
    March 27, 2020 at 5:15 am
    I like Romo very much but his salary is crazy because his job will not put a single extra person eyes to the television set. So dumb.
    _________________________________________________

    Au contrair, mon frer. As I am looking for a game to watch that isn’t my team, I’ll go to the Romo game because of his terrific commentary. He just makes it fun, and Nance knows how to work it. A Romo game is enjoyable to watch. The sub game in a Romo game is seeing how much he calls out what will happen. It’s the first commentary in forever that is football smart and shows you things you didn’t know. Worth every single penny.

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