Tony Romo's broadcast debut began on an awkawrd note. Before calling color on the Week 1 Titans-Raiders game, Romo had an on-air chat with Phil Simms, the man he bumped from the booth to the studio when Romo retired and joined CBS, despite the former Cowboys quarterback having no experience as a broadcaster.
Simms and Romo did the normal back and forth, discussing quarterbacks Derek Carr for a bit. When time came to wrap up the segment, Simms -- who is defintely not mad about this situation -- ribbed Romo with a casual mention of the millions of people who would be watching his debut.
"Good luck today," Simms said. "Don't be nervous, only 50 million people are watching. So don't even think about that."
"I got this in the bag," Romo said.
Tony Romo to Phil Simms "I got this is the bag" on broadcast debut during the NFL Today pic.twitter.com/FgUexBPOzN- Dandy Killeen (@TheDandyMan13) September 10, 2017
As it turns out, he was right.
Romo was comfortable and easygoing alongside Jim Nantz during the 26-16 Raiders win. He was able to tell fans things we didn't already know, a skill all too often lacking in NFL broadcasters.
As I thought, @tonyromo is excellent in the booth. Energetic, knowledgeable, concise, likeable. And will only get better.- Rich Eisen (@richeisen) September 10, 2017
Tony Romo calling out safety blitzes before the snap and pointing out that the Raiders ran on third down to go for it on fourth down. 😍- Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) September 10, 2017
Tony Romo correctly identified pre-snap which Titans DB Derek Carr was keying on. I like that kind of insight.- Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) September 10, 2017
Here's a good example of what Romo brings to the table, when he calls the nickel blitz moments before the ball is snapped. He even beats Carr in noticing the blitz, as the Raiders QB has to throw the ball away.
Here is a snippet of Tony Romo calling his first game on CBS: pic.twitter.com/wmYu4BD0Dk- Brandon George (@DMN_George) September 10, 2017
At times Romo seemed like he was just showing off. "I've got $5 this is a run to the left," he said before this Titans' snap. Moments later, Derrick Henry busted a 10-yard run down the left sideline.
"I've got $5 this is a run to the left."- Joey Hayden (@_joeyhayden) September 10, 2017
Romo already creating a broadcasting legacy betting on plays before they happen...and being right. pic.twitter.com/PWRf754qBM
Romo didn't seem totally comfortable just yet, howveer. He was a big fan of just yelling "BOOM" following a big hit or block. At one point, he eschewed any analysis at all to just shout "BEAST MODE" following a Marshawn Lynch run. But he already has a better analytical eye than most NFL broadcasters.
We'll go ahead and chalk this one up as a win for the fans.
In the five total minutes I've heard Romo on Red Zone today he's added more to a broadcast than Simms did in 20 years. https://t.co/Pnc1Vj5RNp- Kirk Minihane (@kirkmin) September 10, 2017
When Tony Romo's making his broadcasting debut, and he's actually, really good: pic.twitter.com/R4vztNoW9E- SB Nation (@SBNation) September 10, 2017
Cy Brown writes about football, golf, soccer and other stuff for Sports on Earth. Follow him on Twitter @CEPBrown.