FRISCO, Texas – Tony Romo tried his best to close the door on his playing career on Tuesday afternoon, but he knew better than to speak in absolutes.
Just hours after his release from the Cowboys was made official, Romo took to a conference call to confirm his new job as the lead NFL analyst for CBS. But all the curiosity about his future in broadcasting, there was no shortage of questions about the possibility of a return to the field.
Romo's answer, in a nutshell: don't count on it, but don't necessarily count it out, either.
"I don't envision coming out," he said. "But I've also seen enough things, from 'I'm not going to Alabama,' to 'I'm done playing football' that happen in life."
There's bound to be speculation about Romo's future – especially now that he has been released and is no longer under contract with the Cowboys. He does turn 37 later this month, but injuries have kept him out of the fray for much of the last two years. Romo said on the same conference call that he's probably as healthy as he has been at any point in the last three or four years.
Of course, being healthy enough to play football and wanting to are two different situations, as the recent retiree said, as well.
"I could play tomorrow," Romo said. "I think what's defined as, for me, on making this decision was the choice to be able to play, as well."
Still, the concept of playing in April isn't quite the same as fielding an offer once the season has started. Romo acknowledged that, and he was honest in his assessment that, given the quarterback-dependent nature of the NFL, he can likely expect to hear from some clubs later this year.
"Do I envision coming back and playing football? Absolutely not. I'm committed to CBS. I'm going to be there for good," he said. "Do I think I'm going to get some calls? I'm sure I will. There's not enough quarterbacks as is to win 12 games in the NFL anyway. So I do feel like, for me, the reality is that's going to happen."
Even if it's a certainty to happen, that's no guarantee Romo will say yes. He repeatedly stressed his excitement about his new position with CBS, which will see him call NFL games on both Thursdays and Sundays. To hear it from him, the choice between his old profession and his new one doesn't even sound that hard.
"Right now, I'm telling you that I don't think it's going to be that hard of a decision," he said. "I'm going to get in the booth, I'm going to like it, it's going to be a challenge, and I'm excited. I just don't envision that really being something that I'm going to have to think long and hard about."
Only time will tell if that turns out to be true. Romo sounded confident his playing career is over – though perhaps not a full 100 percent.
"It's one of those things you do – you never say never," he said. "But I'd tell you it's about 99 percent."