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Tony Romo will fail as an analyst if he considers NFL return 04.04.17 at 1:54 pm ET
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Tony Romo could return to the NFL after arriving at CBS. (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports)

Tony Romo could return to the NFL after arriving at CBS. (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports)

If Tony Romo is serious about broadcasting, he must be serious about retiring. Good analysts are honest and critical. It will be impossible for Romo to be candid if he intends to continue his playing career.

Hours after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday Romo was pursuing a career in sports television, the Sports Business Journal published a bombshell: the ex-Cowboys QB is expected to replace Phil Simms on CBS, taking over the network’s No. 1 analyst chair alongside play-by-play man Jim Nantz. That means Romo will call some of the most high-profile games on the NFL calendar, and will be responsible for critiquing players and coaches in front of tens of millions of people.

Few NFL reporters appear convinced that Romo, 36, is done playing. Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman says almost everyone he’s spoken with around the league thinks the four-time Pro Bowler will return to the field. Schefter also tweeted out a text message from an NFL executive, who says Romo is now every team’s “emergency backup quarterback.”

There’s also the possibility of a wink-wink agreement with the Cowboys. According to NFL Network’s Jane Slater, Romo would consider coming back if his former team ever needed him. CBS carries the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game this year, meaning Romo could be put in a compromising position during one of the most-watched telecasts of the season. It would probably be difficult for him to second-guess head coach Jason Garrett if he thinks he could play for him again one day –– perhaps in the event of a Dak Prescott injury.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reports Romo’s contract with CBS may allow him to return to football during the season. If that’s the case, Romo could be flirting with teams while he’s calling their games. That potential conflict of interest would affect him in all facets of the job. In addition to neutering him on the air, head coaches may be unwilling to divulge any information to him, out of fear he’ll be playing for the competition in a couple of months.

As Alex Rodriguez has demonstrated on Fox over the last two years, it can be refreshing when recently retired players step into analyst roles. They possess an intimate knowledge of the current game and most of the players in it. But A-Rod is committed to broadcasting. He habitually sends his producers lengthy late-night emails about segments and other areas of the show. Romo may not dedicate himself to the job if he views it as a temporary endeavor.

In 2014, the last time Romo played a full NFL season, he led the league in completion percentage, yards per attempt and was named to the Pro Bowl. Though injuries have derailed his last two seasons –– broken collarbone in 2015, back fracture in 2016 –– it’s probably hard for him to walk away as a competitor. Despite posting monstrous passing numbers for nearly 10 years, Romo never made it to a conference championship game. There’s still a lot for him to accomplish on the field.

On the surface, Romo possesses all of the traits to be a successful analyst. He’s telegenic, well-spoken and embraces his celebrity. But all of that potential can be squandered with one call from a general manager with a QB opening. Right now, it seems like Romo would be tempted to pick up the phone. That’s a bad sign.

 

Read More: CBS, Dallas Cowboys, phil simms, Tony Romo
CBS analyst Jim Spanarkel should feel no shame for calling Allie LaForce a ‘pretty woman’ 03.17.17 at 11:26 am ET
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CBS hired Allie LaForce in 2014. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

CBS hired Allie LaForce in 2014. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

CBS analyst Jim Spanarkel called a woman “pretty.” As a result, he must be shamed.

During the West Virginia-Bucknell matchup Thursday, reporter Allie LaForce relayed comments from Bisons’ head coach Nathan Davis on how the Mountaineers’ offensive rebuilding hurt them in the first half. Spanarkel, in a seemingly benign back-and-forth, briefly discussed LaForce’s report with play-by-play man Verne Lundquist.

“I agree with Allie. I always agree with Allie, though,” he said. “Eight offensive rebounds, well, I’ve learned not to argue with pretty women. Like the people in my house. I don’t get in trouble with the people that are in my house, either, so eight offensive rebounds, Allie, when you think about it, is really a problem, from the standpoint of Bucknell.”

It didn’t take long for Spanarkel to feel the wrath of Twitter’s social justice warriors. ESPN’s Bomani Jones, who strongly hinted earlier this year Celtics fans cheered for Jazz forward Gordon Hayward because he’s white, said the former Duke star is going to “wish he had that one back.” Others called Spanarkel misogynistic, because he acknowledged LaForce’s appearance.

The backlash against Spanarkel is similar to the pushback play-by-play announcer Brent Musberger faced in 2013, when he called former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb, a “lovely lady” during the national title game. When the cameras panned to the former Miss Alabama USA, Musberger remarked to color analyst Kirk Herbstreit, a former quarterback at Ohio State, “You quarterbacks get all the good-looking women.”

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Restraining order against Shannon Sharpe dropped 09.16.10 at 3:38 pm ET
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A restraining order against former NFL star and current TV analyst Shannon Sharpe was withdrawn Wednesday in Fulton County, Georgia.

Michele Bundy, who was granted a temporary restraining order by the court against Sharpe earlier in the week, voluntarily withdrew the complaint.

Sharpe had taken a leave of absence from his work as a studio analyst on CBS until the case was resolved, but the network announced Thursday that Sharpe will return for Sunday.

“We are pleased that Shannon will be in his usual position with The NFL Today on Sunday,” CBS spokesperson LeslieAnn Wade said.

Read More: CBS, Michele Bundy, Rumor Mill, Shannon Sharpe