Why hasn't Tony Romo had a retirement ceremony with the Cowboys?

Does anyone else think Tony Romo spending a day on the roster of the Dallas Mavericks is weird?

Or better yet, does anyone else think that this — in essence — is Romo’s sendoff from Dallas sports?

It has now been a week since Romo announced his plans to retire from the NFL and accept a choice analyst’s gig from CBS, which was a fairly surprising elevation. But nothing has been more odd in the past seven days than the fact that Romo has not had an official retirement ceremony.

Tony Romo’s sendoff, in essence, will be in a layup line with the Dallas Mavericks, not in a news conference with the Dallas Cowboys. (AP)
Tony Romo’s sendoff, in essence, will be in a layup line with the Dallas Mavericks, not in a news conference with the Dallas Cowboys. (AP)

Think about it. When he first spoke about retiring, it was on a CBS-orchestrated conference call, and listening to it, Romo’s ambivalence was evident. He refused to completely close the door on ever playing again, which only invited more speculation about whether he was truly done. Even on a more forceful, forward-looking interview Romo did the next day, it’s hard not to wonder what’s going through his mind.

But what about his old team? The Cowboys did not hold a traditional news conference. No ceremonial goodbye. What does that mean? We don’t know. It might mean nothing. But it’s a bit non-traditional, we’d say.

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First off, Romo might have wanted it this way. He clearly praised Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in the aftermath and said Jones was looking out for his best interests while Romo pondered his future. There doesn’t appear to be bad blood there. Romo might have just told Jones: No news conference. It certainly had to be difficult for him to give his concession speech of sorts when he ceremoniously handed the baton to Dak Prescott late in the season, and it’s possible Romo just didn’t want to go through that gauntlet again.

But it’s not as if he’s not talking in public. This is at the Mavs facility on Tuesday:

The Cowboys Twitter account is there covering it like this is just part of the regular deal.

Except there’s really not much ordinary about the way the Cowboys and Romo are going about things. And that’s fine — they’re free to handle things the way they want, assuming this was part of a joint agreement. After all, Jones got the dream ending to a potentially awkward deal with Romo, and you’d have to think they would have had the metaphorical champagne on ice for him had he wanted it.

But the strange thing here is that Romo’s Dallas sports farewell — our final look at him as an athlete, really — will be in the Mavs’ layup line behind Dorian Finney-Smith and Yogi Ferrell. If Dirk Nowitzki retires in a few months, is he going to catch passes from Kellen Moore in the preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders? Is this some sort of superstar exchange program?

Look, there likely aren’t any dastardly intentions here from either side, and it’s not written into NFL bylaws that every great player has to have a retirement news conference. Heck, in five years maybe players will just Facebook Live their retirements from the privacy of their own homes.

We just can’t help but marvel at the strange week that has unfolded and continues to do so. And would the Cowboys have a retirement news conference for him now, eight or 10 days later? It doesn’t appear to be in the plans. We assume there will be a gameday ceremony planned for him next season. Maybe in the preseason. Maybe in a prime-time game. Who knows? Right now, we’re not aware of anything planned by the Cowboys for Romo.

Dallas, for the most part, loves Romo. His teammates have been all over social media praising the guy. The downtown area has been lit up with Romo’s No. 9, and the Cowboys new team facility also has displayed his uniform number for all to see. Jason Garrett, Romo’s coach for most of his career, will be at the Mavs game on Tuesday. No clear awkwardness there.

“It’s been overwhelming,” Romo said on Tuesday. “I had close to 600 text messages that I’m still working on and then a hundred and something calls and a bunch of other stuff. I guess it just makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something in some ways, even though I feel like I left something out there that I always wanted to accomplish. And I’ve got to live with that. That’s part of playing sports. …

“This week has been special in the sense that people have made me feel that they appreciated me, that they enjoyed me playing and being the quarterback and that it meant something to them and they wanted to root for me and they were passionate about it. I can’t say thank you enough. It really has been a very special week.”

And it really has been Romo Appreciation Week. It just hasn’t happened the way we expected it to.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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