The Dallas Cowboys announced they had released Romo after 13 seasons, and CBS Sports said it had hired him as a commentator for the upcoming season.
However, CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said he had talks with Romo about the new gig when the season ended.
Dallas owner Jerry Jones told Romo before free agency opened that the team would release him to give him a chance to continue his career with another contender. He lost his starting job in 2016 after a preseason back injury pushed rookie Dak Prescott into the No. 1 role with the Cowboys.
But Romo never parlayed his regular-season success into deep playoff runs the way Roger Staubach and Aikman did before him, going 78-49 as the starter but 2-4 in the postseason, with no road victories and no trips to the NFC championship game.
For Romo, his decision came down to health issues, ones like the collarbone and neck injuries which kept him from playing all but five games the last two seasons.
But before Romo left the podium for the final time as a player, he handed some praise to New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
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Information from USA Today was used in this report.
"We wish Tony and his family nothing but the best", Jones said, per ProFootballTalk.
At his request, Romo was released on Tuesday after 14 years with the Cowboys.
"If you think for a second I don't want to be out there, then you probably never felt the pure ecstasy of competing and winning", Romo read from his prepared notes last November. FOX was reported to be in the mix to ink Romo as well, but CBS' offer to put him to the front of the line won out. I'm excited about trying to be really good at this.
Kathryn Rubac, Romo's math teacher at Burlington High School, says among his sports achievements there, there were signs of broadcasting potential.
When reminded of the 2007 playoff loss, Romo cracked, "You had to add that". His salary cap in 2017 would have been $24.7 million, according to Spotrac, which monitors player contracts. The four-time Pro Bowl selection threw for 34,183 yards with 248 touchdowns compared to 117 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 97.1. He feels that he can bring his fire and passion to the broadcast booth.
Romo felt he had to "play flawless ball" whenever the two teams met, especially early in his career.