Tony Romo steals the show for CBS on Sunday, and he'll be the star of Super Bowl LIII too

Tony Romo will star in a Super Bowl after all.

Romo never made the Super Bowl as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, something his critics never let him forget. Being in the booth for CBS during Super Bowl LIII won’t make Romo feel better about not winning a title with the Cowboys, but he clearly will be one of the key figures in the game.

CBS took a big chance two years ago, putting Romo on its No. 1 broadcast team despite him having no experience. But he has become the biggest NFL broadcaster since John Madden’s prime, and more than 100 million people tuning in to the New England Patriots-Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl will get a chance to marvel at Romo’s enthusiasm and his uncanny ability to call out plays before they happen.

Romo’s excellent, universally praised performance in the AFC championship game was a preview.

Tony Romo was brilliant in AFC championship game

Much has been said about Romo’s ability to predict plays before they happen. He has done it since his first game with CBS. In one of the biggest plays of the Chiefs-Patriots AFC title game, he nailed one. No matter your level of fandom, it was amazing.

In the fourth quarter, on fourth-and-inches, Romo noticed that Tom Brady was calling an audible. He was “killing” the initial play called, automatically shifting to another play based on the defensive look.

“Oh, they’re killing it. Usually means a motion and a run out wide to the right,” Romo said.

Then there was a motion and Sony Michel ran to the right, for a touchdown.

Later in the game, Romo was masterful in pointing out Brady’s tendencies when Rob Gronkowski split out wide to the left. On both plays, Romo predicted Brady would go to him if he saw a certain coverage. When that coverage came, Brady hit Gronkowski for a pair of crucial third-down conversions.

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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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Most NFL color analysts are good at explaining what happened after a play is finished. It’s another level to know what’s going to happen before the ball is snapped.

Romo will be a major part of Super Bowl LIII

It’s incredibly rare for anyone to tune in to listen to an announcer. Maybe that happened during Howard Cosell’s heyday on “Monday Night Football,” or fans tuned on the radio to hear legends like Vin Scully or Ernie Harwell. But it doesn’t happen often.

Nobody will tune into CBS’ broadcast of the Super Bowl specifically to hear Romo. But for the first time in a long time, who is in the booth will be a big story for a Super Bowl. Romo is an instant superstar, a rarity in a social media world that hates practically everything (and especially announcers), and this will be his biggest stage.

As CBS gets its turn to broadcast the Super Bowl, the most watched television show in the United States year after year, it’s safe to assume the network feels pretty good about its gamble on Romo.

22 PHOTOS
The best photos of the NFL playoffs
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The best photos of the NFL playoffs
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 20: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime during the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 20, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Patriots defeated the Chiefs 37-31. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 20: Ted Ginn #19 of the New Orleans Saints makes a 43-yard catch against Lamarcus Joyner #20 of the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees is sacked by Los Angeles Rams' Ndamukong Suh during the first half of the NFL football NFC championship game, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Los Angeles Rams players celebrate after overtime of the NFL football NFC championship game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) spins in the air as he is tackled by New England Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones (31) during the first half of the AFC Championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates with his teammates after the AFC Championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 13: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots breaks up a pass intended for Mike Williams #81 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the second quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) gestures as he runs past Indianapolis Colts safety Clayton Geathers (26) and linebacker Anthony Walker during the second half of an NFL divisional football playoff game in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) lies on the turf in front of New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) after the Saints intercepted a pass in the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. The Saints won 20-14. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 13: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown as he is defended by Casey Hayward #26 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 12: Inside linebacker Cory Littleton #58 of the Los Angeles Rams tackles running back Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter of the NFC Divisional Round playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 12: Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled by J.J. Wilcox #37 and teammate Kenny Moore #23 of the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) pulls in a touchdown reception against Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc (34) in the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 06: Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers loses the ball on the 1 yard line against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 05: Eric Ebron #85 of the Indianapolis Colts catches a pass for a touchdown defended by Tyrann Mathieu #32 of the Houston Texans in the first quarter during the Wild Card Round at NRG Stadium on January 5, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc (34) breaks up a pass intended for Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller (17) during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates his first down near the goal line against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of the NFC wild-card NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) tries to break free from Los Angeles Chargers free safety Derwin James in the first half of an NFL wild card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (89) leaps over Los Angeles Chargers defenders as he rushes the ball in the second half of an NFL wild card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) flies for the goal line and makes a first down against Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) during the second half of the NFC wild-card NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc (34) breaks up a pass intended for Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller (17) during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey (1) reacts after missing a field goal in the closing minute during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Chicago. The Eagles won 16-15. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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