Tony Romo tried to prepare for his new TV job by playing 'Madden,' but he was too obsessed with beating his opponents

On Sunday, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo made his much-anticipated debut in the TV booth as a color commentator for CBS.

By most accounts, Romo's first effort was a resounding success even though one of his plans to prepare for the new role completely backfired.

Sal Iacono is a writer for "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and is also known as "Cousin Sal" as a regular guest on "The Bill Simmons Podcast." During an appearance Monday on Simmons' show, Iacono told a funny story about Romo prepping for his new gig.

According to Iacono, he was at Romo's house over the summer along with Kimmel when the topic of Romo's new TV job came up. At one point, while Romo was showing the group a practice tape he made in which he called a game from the 2016 season, it was suggested to Romo that he play the popular video game, "Madden," to get some ideas on what to say.

While the idea may sound absurd on the surface — and it is quite possible the suggestion was made half-jokingly — it is not crazy to think that the producers of "Madden" put a lot of effort into producing realistic dialogue and researching what works, what sells, and what people don't like.

"I said, 'You know what you should do,'" Iacono told Simmons. "'You should watch 'Madden' and see what the play-by-play is and the color commentary. Then you can see what is marketable and you can see what you want to stay away from and what to go with. He says, 'That's a great idea.' So he puts 'Madden' on and he plays."

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Tony Romo through his career
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Tony Romo through his career
IRVING, TX - 2005: Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Getty Images)
OXNARD, CA - JULY 30: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys passes during the first day of training camp on July 30, 2005 in Oxnard, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn /Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (L) talks to Terrell Owens before the NFL football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte October 29, 2006. REUTERS/Chris Keane (UNITED STATES)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo throws during warmups before taking on the Washington Redskins in their National Football League game in Landover, Maryland, November 5, 2006. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo leaves the field after the Cowboys were defeated by Seattle Seahawks in their NFC Wild Card NFL playoff football game in Seattle, January 6, 2007. REUTERS/Richard Clement (UNITED STATES)
Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo calls signals against the Miami Dolphins during fourth quarter NFL football action in Miami September 16, 2007. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (L) and Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones smile at a news conference held to announce Romo's six-year $67.5 million contract extension in Irving, Texas, October 30, 2007. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES)
Quarterback Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys warms up before the NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, February 10, 2008. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry (UNITED STATES)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo throws the ball prior to his pre-season NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers in San Diego, August 9, 2008. REUTERS/Stan Liu (UNITED STATES)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (L) drops back to pass as he is rushed by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson in the first half of their NFL football game in Irving, Texas December 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo reacts during the second half of NFL football action against the Baltimore Ravens in Irving, Texas December 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo throws against the Washington Redskins during second half of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland December 27, 2009. REUTERS/Molly Riley (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo stands on the sideline during the second half after being injured against the New York Giants in the first half of their NFL football game in Arlington, Texas October 25, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo looks to the sideline during a timeout in the second quarter of their NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts October 16, 2011. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL HEADSHOT)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo smiles on the sideline against the Buffalo Bills in the second half of their NFL football game in Arlington, Texas November 13, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo reacts as he leaves the field after beating the Miami Dolphins in their NFL football game in Arlington, Texas November 24, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Tiger Woods and his amateur playing partner Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo wait to tee off on the sixth hole at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club during the second round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, California, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT GOLF FOOTBALL)
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett watches as quarterback Tony Romo warms up before the start of their NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Arlington, Texas December 2, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) yells at an official over what he believed to be a missed pass interference call against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL football game in San Diego, California September 29, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) leaves the field after greeting Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (R) at the end of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland December 30, 2012. The Washington Redskins defeated the Dallas Cowboys 28-18 on Sunday to claim the NFC East crown for the first time since 1999 and deny their bitter rivals a spot in the postseason. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Dec 15, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) reacts after getting sacked in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium. The Packers beat the Cowboys 37-36. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws a pass during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) celebrates with vice president of public relations Rich Dalrymple after defeating the Detroit Lions 24-20 in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
August 23, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) hands off to running back Darren McFadden (20) during the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys fan holds up a sign in support of quarterback Tony Romo (9) (not pictured) against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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Unfortunately, we will never know if the idea was a good one because Romo is not only really good at "Madden" — Romo is apparently so highly rated that he is only playing other players who are also among the highest-rated in the world — he is also apparently hyper-competitive, and the plan completely backfired.

"We end up watching him play all afternoon, beating up on these 12-year-olds," Iacono said. "He's not listening to a second of the color commentary. Jimmy's like, 'Do you realize you didn't listen at all to what they were saying?' [Romo] was like, 'I know, I've got to beat this guy.'"

Iacono went on to explain that one thing that makes Romo so good at "Madden," is also one of the things that people raved about during his TV debut. That is, Romo can anticipate what teams are doing by the way they set up. Just as Romo correctly predicted numerous plays during the game on CBS, he also routinely knew exactly what audible to call in "Madden" based on what formation his opponent was in, and according to Iacono it worked every time.

You can hear the story at the 31:20 mark in the episode below:

 

 

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