Everyone is raving about Tony Romo's enthusiastic broadcast debut for CBS

Less than one year removed from a sterling career cut short by injuries and circumstance, Tony Romo is putting his football knowledge to good use in the broadcast booth.

Hired by CBS to be Jim Nantz’s right-hand man on NFL broadcasts, Romo wasted no time getting into his new role during Sunday’s showdown between the Oakland Raiders and the Tennessee Titans. The 37-year-old Romo was clearly excited to be there, with exclamations of “Wow!” and “Whoa!” dotting the broadcast.

But while Romo’s attitude may have been endearing, it was his football analysis that really got people talking. The former Cowboy’s expertise in modern strategy was clear, as he correctly predicted multiple play calls. At one point, Romo jokingly bet five dollars that the Titans would run the ball to the left, and seconds later, running back Derrick Henry did exactly that.

When asked to explain his rationale for the prediction, Romo’s response was simple: “I’ve seen football in the NFL for 14 years.”

The Wisconsin native’s vast knowledge was on display throughout the game, including on one play where he explained how sending four receivers out wide can overwhelm a secondary and create an open man. In all, it was a tremendously successful debut performance, and figures from around the game of football were effusive in their praise.

For other viewers, it was Romo’s enthusiasm that sold them on CBS’ newest broadcast team.

The fact that Romo was widely praised for his performance had to have been a relief for CBS executives. Romo’s lengthy tenure with the polarising Cowboys, as well as his injury history and poor postseason record, turned him into a lightning rod for criticism as his playing career went on.

“I said to Tony, ‘Don’t pay attention to the negative, mean-spirited stuff on Twitter,'” said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus, according to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated. “‘Pay attention to the intelligent, well thought out and well-meaning stuff that comes from people in the business.'”

Fortunately for McManus, Romo received a kind of hero’s welcome to the booth. With his keen eye for the game and a winning disposition to match, it looks like he could be on the microphone for a long time.

Romo and Nantz are set to call their next game this Sunday, when the New England Patriots will take on the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.

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