Tony Romo was the center of attention at last night’s Dallas Mavericks game, as Dallas fans gave him the farewell he was never quite able to get in his final days with the Dallas Cowboys. The former franchise quarterback was allowed to don the Mavericks’ jersey, participate in pre-game practices and ride the bench in the Mavericks’ game versus the Denver Nuggets. He was even announced as their sixth starter, giving one of many opportunities for the Dallas audience to applaud.
According to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, there was an initial idea to let Romo play in the game, but NBA commissioner Adam Silver allegedly shot him down. The reasoning was that his contract would not have been honored according to current NBA rules. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle expounded on this, saying, “To sign a guy with all of our requirements from a physical standpoint with the hours and hours of screening and all that kinds of other stuff, it just wasn’t worth going there.” Both Cuban and Carlisle agreed that the main idea behind the move was to give Dallas a chance to cheer their quarterback one last time, and that him playing in the game was always a pipe dream.
There was some controversy following the announcement, particularly among NBA purists who called this a “minor league” move on the part of the Mavericks. Cuban shot back, “We’ve got people shooting half-court shots at every break, we’ve got kids for ball boys… We’re entertainment. And if they’re so self-important they can’t recognize that, it’s on them. Not me.”
Romo is preparing to leave the athletic side of sports and transition to his role as a broadcaster. However, one of the smaller news items that almost went unnoticed in the Mavericks hoopla was that Romo has yet to officially file his retirement papers with the NFL. This would confirm reports that Romo would be willing to leave CBS mid-season if a particularly enticing offer from a contender came up.