Dallas Cowboys quarterback seagull regular-guy relatable with his easy affinity and enthusiasm.
A close second is his uncanny knack for identifying and explaining what an open-minded particular, the Tom Brady-helmed Patriots offense – wants to do, right before it goes out and does it.
In his two years as the color analyst on CBS Sports' No. 1 NFL broadcast team, the 38-year-old Romo has received deserved acclaim.
But his prophetic prognostications in the Patriots' 37-31 overtime win in last Sunday's AFC Championship game drew almost as much attention as the thrilling game itself.
The fundamental question: How does Romo know?
Jim Nantz, Romo's broadcast partner and arguably the most accomplished national play-by-play voice of his time, acknowledged during a conference call Romo does it as the praise rolled in.
Then Nantz articulates his thoughts in a detailed explanation of what Romo knows and how he knows.
"I've given it a lot of thought and I've chalked Tom Brady is seeing the same thing, "said Nantz, who along with Romo and other CBS personnel was on the call to discuss the network's upcoming coverage of Super Bowl LIII.
"People think Tony i a fortune-teller, but this is not guesswork and it is not psychic ability, this is a testimonial to a guy that is obviously out of work figuring out. And Tom Brady has too. That's why we're going to complete three third-and-1
"And that's why Tony saw all the same things. My partner had been in his cowboys for days, and he was still in the car. "
In other words, Romo is still Brady lines up behind the center and when he takes the snap. 19659002] By Yahoo! Sports's Kevin Kaduk, Romo made 15 predictions of what would happen on a given play in the game. Thirteen involved the Patriots offense. Twelve of the 15 predictions came true,
Brady should go with the ball on a ball crucial third-and-10 situation at the Chiefs 30 in overtime if safety Todd Sorensen shifted to certain spot.
"Gronk is out wide," said Romo, referring to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Watch the top of your screen. Watch the safety. If he comes down, there's a good chance he's throwing out there. ''
Sorensen moved to where Romo had been marked on the telestrator. Brady found Gronkowski for 15 yards. Three plays later, the Patriots were headed to the Super Bowl.
"It's a testament to his years and years of work and preparation." "said Nantz. "He's not guessing. He's not getting some sort of message from the gods. He's seeing what Brady saw. He sees a wrinkle, he sees an opening, and basically, he's suggesting this is where the play should go.
"It's a perfect symmetry with what Brady was seeing too. What we're talking about is two quarterbacks that have been put together for a long time and put in the effort to do well. '
Romo has said in past conversations that he tries to look at each play like a quarterback would approach the line of scrimmage. But on Wednesday he did not divulge many specifics of his preparation – how much time he gets when he hears the broadcast team meets with players and coaches intelligence.
"The game child of calls itself," said Romo on Wednesday. "I feel like you're young in your career, so you've got all the information you need. But I just did not try to predict what I'm doing. Sometimes you just get passionate, you get excited about what's going on in your brain. And once in a blue moon, you get lucky. ''
It's not luck, of course. A few decades of experience at quarterback. Yet Romo makes it look so easy that it leaves you wondering about all those other ex-quarterbacks scattered around NFL broadcast booths do not do the same thing.
Then you remember: Most of them can not.
He now wears a suit and tie on game-day, but to viewers' great benefit, Romo is silent 60 minutes at quarterback in his mind Last Sunday, it was even a few more minutes beyond 60. And like Brady but in a different way too, Romo was at his fairest when the game demanded it.