On Tuesday, one of the best Latino players to ever step foot on an NFL gridiron called it quits on a career full of ups, downs, and everything in between. Tony Romo, a third-generation Mexican-American, announced his retirement from professional football, leaving behind a Dallas Cowboys career that was symbolized as much by his talent as it was by his timely, unfortunate playoff losses.
Romo also leaves behind a legacy as a Latino icon for a sport that is sorely lacking in them, and the fact that he played for the Cowboys only connected him to Latino fans further; the Cowboys have the largest Latino fanbase in the NFL. Romo retires with team records in passing yards, touchdowns, and quarterback rating, among many others.
However, his numerous injuries over the last few years spurred Dallas to find a suitable heir to the quarterback position, one that rookie Dak Prescott admirably filled last year. On the heels of his demotion, Romo’s options after the season were to either search for a new team or retire; he chose the latter, and will make the move to the broadcast booth this fall, joining CBS as its new lead analyst.
Romo has never been too open about his Mexican heritage, but that’s more of a byproduct of the NFL’s culture of non-individuality than any indictment on the former quarterback. One thing that has been publicized is his relationship with his paternal grandparents, Ramiro Sr. and Felicita, including the fact that Felicita calls him before every game with words of encouragement. Ramiro Sr. is Romo’s link to his ancestral hometown of Múzquiz, Mexico, as the elder Romo immigrated to the United States from the state of Coahuila.