Tony Romo steals the show for CBS on Sunday, and he'll be the star of Super Bowl LIII too

Tony Romo will star in a Super Bowl after all.

Romo never made the Super Bowl as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, something his critics never let him forget. Being in the booth for CBS during Super Bowl LIII won’t make Romo feel better about not winning a title with the Cowboys, but he clearly will be one of the key figures in the game.

CBS took a big chance two years ago, putting Romo on its No. 1 broadcast team despite him having no experience. But he has become the biggest NFL broadcaster since John Madden’s prime, and more than 100 million people tuning in to the New England Patriots-Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl will get a chance to marvel at Romo’s enthusiasm and his uncanny ability to call out plays before they happen.

Romo’s excellent, universally praised performance in the AFC championship game was a preview.

Tony Romo was brilliant in AFC championship game

Much has been said about Romo’s ability to predict plays before they happen. He has done it since his first game with CBS. In one of the biggest plays of the Chiefs-Patriots AFC title game, he nailed one. No matter your level of fandom, it was amazing.

In the fourth quarter, on fourth-and-inches, Romo noticed that Tom Brady was calling an audible. He was “killing” the initial play called, automatically shifting to another play based on the defensive look.

“Oh, they’re killing it. Usually means a motion and a run out wide to the right,” Romo said.

Then there was a motion and Sony Michel ran to the right, for a touchdown.

Later in the game, Romo was masterful in pointing out Brady’s tendencies when Rob Gronkowski split out wide to the left. On both plays, Romo predicted Brady would go to him if he saw a certain coverage. When that coverage came, Brady hit Gronkowski for a pair of crucial third-down conversions.

Most NFL color analysts are good at explaining what happened after a play is finished. It’s another level to know what’s going to happen before the ball is snapped.

Romo will be a major part of Super Bowl LIII

It’s incredibly rare for anyone to tune in to listen to an announcer. Maybe that happened during Howard Cosell’s heyday on “Monday Night Football,” or fans tuned on the radio to hear legends like Vin Scully or Ernie Harwell. But it doesn’t happen often.

Nobody will tune into CBS’ broadcast of the Super Bowl specifically to hear Romo. But for the first time in a long time, who is in the booth will be a big story for a Super Bowl. Romo is an instant superstar, a rarity in a social media world that hates practically everything (and especially announcers), and this will be his biggest stage.

As CBS gets its turn to broadcast the Super Bowl, the most watched television show in the United States year after year, it’s safe to assume the network feels pretty good about its gamble on Romo.

Tony Romo was brilliant in his call of the AFC championship game for CBS. (AP)
Tony Romo was brilliant in his call of the AFC championship game for CBS. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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