Tony Romo Went From NFL Quarterback to Super Bowl Announcer. Here’s How Much He Makes, Then and Now
After more than a decade in the NFL, Tony Romo is finally getting his shot at Super Bowl stardom.
The longtime Dallas Cowboys quarterback and veteran Jim Nantz will be CBS' Super Bowl 2019 announcers in Atlanta. And although Romo never led his own team to the NFL championship game, he's now being hailed by some as "the greatest TV analyst in U.S. sports." His near-psychic commentating skills, which have been stirring up social media for months, will surely be on display throughout Sunday's Los Angeles Rams-New England Patriots matchup.
Wizard-level expertise doesn't come cheap. According to the New York Post, CBS is paying Romo a salary of about $4 million a year for his weekly insights.
But that's just his latest big paycheck for a high-profile gig. Ahead of Super Bowl LIII — and a whole lot of Romo predictions — here's everything else we know about his net worth, earnings and how he spends his money.
Reckoning With the Salary Cap
Romo retired from football in 2017 after 14 lucrative seasons on the Cowboys. Over the Cap reports that Romo's career earnings in the NFL exceeded $127 million, or about $9.1 million a year.
But he wasn't always raking in the cash — Romo started with a base salary of just $225,000 back in 2003. His earnings climbed as he gained experience, with his base salary hitting $8.5 million in 2010.
Eventually, he was one of the highest-paid NFL players of all time.
Romo's contract was constantly being tweaked toward the end of his NFL tenure. His earnings were impacting the Cowboys' salary cap, which is the amount of money the NFL says a team can spend paying players. How a salary cap actually works is extremely complicated and often controversial, but in Romo's case it was hurting the Cowboys' ability to bring on new talent.
In 2013, Romo signed a $108 million extension that included a $25 million signing bonus in an effort to make room under the cap. His contract was restructured again just two years later for the same reason. At one point, Romo even volunteered to take a pay cut to keep one of his teammates. (It did not work.)
"There's greatness in being the kind of teammate who truly wants to be part of the team," he said in a 2016 speech conceding his quarterback spot to Dak Prescott. "Every single one of us wants to be that person, but there are special moments that come from a shared commitment to play a role while doing it together. That's what you remember, not your stats or your prestige, but your relationships and achievement that you created through a group."
A New 'Legendary Team'
Romo's transition to the announcers booth dates to 2015, when he caught CBS sports chairman Sean McManus' eye at a pre-Super Bowl party. As McManus would later tell Sports Illustrated, he asked for Romo's input on the Seahawks-Patriots game and was amazed at his "engaging," "enthusiastic" response.
After an injury during the 2016 season put his football future in doubt, Romo met with McManus to talk more about the gig. Romo's jump to CBS was officially announced in April 2017.
"When you think about the NFL, two of the most iconic brands are the Dallas Cowboys and CBS Sports," Romo said in a statement at the time. "Going from one legendary team to another as I begin the next phase of my career is a dream come true."
So far, so good: As an announcer, Romo has quickly developed a reputation for his spot-on predictions, deep knowledge and excitable delivery. You can even place a Super Bowl prop bet on how many plays Romo will pinpoint before they happen.
Romo's contract with CBS ends in 2020. The Post recently reported that executives are attempting to head off any possibility of his departure by offering Romo more money and an early contract renewal.
From Louis Vuitton to Pizza Hut
In addition to football and commentating, Romo profits from sponsorship deals with companies like DirecTV and Pizza Hut. On Sunday, he'll be in a Super Bowl ad for Skechers.
“With Tony delivering color commentary at his first Super Bowl, this is the perfect venue to show fans watching the humorous side of the former star quarterback,” Skechers president Michael Greenberg said in a news release. “Being part of an advertising campaign during the Big Game is always major news — but when your star is also commenting from the broadcast booth, well, that’s an added bonus."
When he's not on TV, Romo lives in luxury. He once bought Louis Vuitton bags for the Cowboys' offensive line, and in 2016 TMZ reported he was building a seven-bedroom, 7-bathroom mansion in Dallas.
His net worth is about $70 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, which bases its estimates on news articles and real estate transactions, among other records.
Romo frequently donates his money and time to organizations like Urban Alternative, a church mentoring program, and the Children's Cancer Fund, according to Fox 4. Last summer, he gave $125,000 he won in a golf tournament to charity.
However, Romo apparently has a weakness when it comes to playing (unsuccessfully) for money with pro golfer Jordan Spieth. When asked in 2015 just how much Romo has lost to him, Spieth responded that he "can't even count that high."