ATLANTA (WTVF) — When kickoff comes on Sunday the biggest star of Super Bowl LIII may not be on the field. CBS lead analyst Tony Romo has been a breakout performer this year.
Romo has made for a perfect match with veteran play-by-play man Jim Nance thanks to an infectious enthusiasm and an uncanny knack for calling plays before they happened.
Romo’s brilliance went viral on social media during the AFC Championship game when he correctly predicted what would happen before each of New England’s three third downs plays during its game-winning drive in overtime.
“People focus on the predictions, but over and above that he’s an outstanding analyst,” said Sean McManus, President of CBS Sports.
Romo’s smooth transition to the broadcast booth has been aided by a deep knowledge of today’s game. He’s been able to pull from his experience after playing 14 years as the Cowboys’ star quarterback.
“You’re trying to do the best you can and make it fun and hopefully people at home enjoy it,” Romo said. “If you learn something I always feel like that was more fun to watch. If you can add humor or make it more enjoyable where it’s not boring, I mean it’s hard to sit down and watch anything for three hours anymore.”
He’s the first former player to go directly from the field to a network’s top broadcast team. And the only person, including coaches, to leave the game and go into a two-man booth.
It was a risky decision for CBS executives to year’s ago, but it’s paying off big time now.
“It was a calculated risk,” McManus said. “We just had the feeling and the instinct that Tony was up to it.”
He was never able to reach the Super Bowl as a player, but today Romo reaches broadcasting’s pinnacle in Super Bowl LIII.
“I’m just lucky to be here right now,” Romo said this week. “Lucky to have this position and be a part of it. I mean, it’s a really special event.”
Now known for his predictions, Romo was asked this week to pick a score for the game between the Patriots and Rams.
Romo wouldn’t pick a winner as to remain impartial, but did provide a score. He’s going with 31-28 with the losing team failing to score on the game’s final drive.