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Tony Romo played Madden to help him prepare for broadcasting and ended up legitimately playing

Tony Romo’s broadcasting debut went off as perfectly as it could, maybe thanks to playing some Madden.

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Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback (weeps forever) Tony Romo made his CBS debut this past Sunday when he and Jim Nantz called the Oakland Raiders visit to the Tennessee Titans. Romo, in the least surprising thing of all time, absolutely crushed it.

It’s easy for Cowboys fans to see how Romo would be so great at predicting things in the booth. Over the final years of his career his mastery of the game from an intellectual perspective had reached a level of elite (yes I used the E word with Romo) status. He’s just using it for a team that goes with blazers as their preferred uniform now.

While there’s no doubt that Romo’s experience as an NFL quarterback is aiding him in his new career, he’s obviously doing homework to prepare for games now. This likely includes many notes, game film, and... Madden?

The well-known Cousin Sal was on the latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast and dove into details (right about the 30-minute mark) as he and Bill were discussing Romo’s broadcasting debut:

Bill Simmons: Tell the story about when you were watching him play Madden, you gotta tell that story.

Cousin Sal: We were over at Tony Romo’s house, Jimmy (Kimmel) and I, and he’s talking about broadcasting and he showed us... it was the summer... he showed us like a pre... he called the Chiefs/Falcons game. Was that the one... Barry ran it back, the two-point conversion? 100-yards, whatever.

So he called that again and he showed us and I was like, “You know what you should do, you should watch Madden and see what the play-by-play is and the color commentary. Then you can see what’s marketable, then you can see what you want to stay away from, or go with. And he’s like, “That’s a great idea!”.

So he puts Madden on and he plays, and we end up watching him play all afternoon beating up on these 12-year olds. Now he’s only playing ranked guys in the world because at his “rating” that’s all you could do, and he’s not listening for a second to what the color commentary...

And Jimmy’s like, “Do you realize you didn’t listen at all to what they’re saying?” and he’s like “Yea I know, I gotta beat this guy!” And he was changing every play at the line because he would see what defense he is... and he’d go for 13 yards on an offensive play, it was spectacular.

Bill Simmons: And he’s playing like the top 50 Madden guys in the world.

Cousin Sal: And the kids are taunting him, cause you could hear it over the audio. He never says anything back, they have no idea they’re playing Tony Romo! It was a great thing, and finally he lost to some kid who’s playing the Vikings who had the “hit stick” fumble button down, whatever it is. Every completion he had, it was an immediate fumble.

Bill Simmons: So Romo was just going to the line in Madden, seeing what the defense was, and every time audible-ing for 13 yards?

Cousin Sal: Right. He’s like, “Yea see he’s not smart enough to keep the safety... to cheat the safety here, so I’m gonna come back with this.”

Bill Simmons: This is great, man.

I’ve always wondered how NFL quarterbacks would fare at Madden and if the game really works to the level that they can adjust things the way they would on the field. Romo, as always, delivered in the clutch to give us the answer.

Honestly the most amazing part about this is that Romo set out on this conquest for legitimate research purposes. He’s just so hyper-competitive that those instincts took over and he had to win. Hilarious.