Jay Gruden Blasts Tony Romo Play-Predicting Abilities: ‘Pretty Obvious’

by Kayla Zadel
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Jay Gruden is not impressed with Tony Romo’s gig as a broadcaster.

The former Washington Football Team coach thinks that Romo’s reputation for predicting plays isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

“I could do it every time. He’s only right like 30 percent of the time,” Gruden, who spent 2020 as the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator, tells The Athletic. “Those are usually pretty obvious, I mean (laughs). Nobody talks about the times when he’s wrong, but when he’s right, holy cow, he’s a genius. Oh, come on, man. Sure, it’s a run. Nope, it’s a pass. Sorry, I was wrong.”

According to a Wall Street Journal analysis from January 2019, the report concludes that Romo’s predictions were correct 68 percent of the time.

What’s more, Tony Romo has a fair share of haters, like former WFAN star and current SiriusXM radio host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo. He called out Romo during the 2019 NFL season, saying that the former quarterback “never shuts up,” and doesn’t leave his cohort, Jim Nantz time to talk.

Maybe Gruden is jealous of Romo’s $180 million broadcast contract with CBS. After all, it’s unknown if he’ll secure a coaching job for the 2021 season. Plus, the 53-year-old has expressed his interest in a media gig this year.

“I got a couple of things lined up. Maybe try my hand at commentating, studio, something like that. If I can get lucky enough to get one of those jobs it would be great to keep alive in the football world,” Gruden told The Athletic. “I love the game. Love to talk about the game, love to be part of it. Sitting out is not really an option, but if that’s what I have to do then I’ll have to do that for a year.”

Tony Romo Says He’s Scaling Back on Predictions

One would think that this “gift” really isn’t a gift after all. Rather an attribution to being a student of the game. With all of Tony Romo’s years playing football, studying plays, watching film, and practicing, predicting a play should just be something that any football enthusiast can do.

However, Romo told The Athletic that he’s been trying to scale back on this trick ahead of the 2020 season.

“I think I’ve probably done it less on purpose a little bit.” Romo says on his play prognostication, “I don’t consciously try and do it or not do it. I like to be able to do multiple things, and it goes back to what I think people at home want to feel or hear about their team.”

Romo says that he’s trying to tell the home viewers truth about everything he sees. It’s something that he might be faulted for, but Romo says he’s going to make mistakes.

“But I do feel like I care and want them to enjoy their game. I take into account anything I do when something might be too much or too little. It’s just a feel. It’s just instinctual. You might be right in the sense that I probably have throttled that back a little bit. But there’s always a time I’ll bring it out, especially if it’s a fun time to do it.”

The reality is that most game analysts can do exactly the same thing that Romo gets praised for doing. However, they just chose not to do it. What’s more, these sportscasters don’t call Romo out on his broadcasting style, because of an “unspoken” code between colleagues.