DALLAS — After retiring from the sport of football and the Dallas Cowboys earlier this month, former NFL quarterback Tony Romo tried his hands at a new sport Tuesday morning.
The Cowboys’ all-time leader in passing yards (34,183) and touchdowns (248) went through the Dallas Mavericks’ Tuesday morning shootaround, working with the team’s young players as they prepare for the Denver Nuggets. He’ll now go through the Mavs’ pregame warmup line before being honored with a video tribute prior to Tuesday night’s matchup. And after supporting the Mavericks (32-48) throughout his 14-year career, Romo says he couldn’t refuse the offer of 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, Mavs owner Mark Cuban and coach Rick Carlisle to sit on the bench during Tuesday’s game.
“When coach called and Dirk texted, I think it’s kind of a no-brainer to say yes,” Romo said while addressing the Dallas media after going through the Mavs’ morning walkthrough. “For me, it’s a huge honor just to see that they want to do something just to say thank you for your career, what you did for the city, helping the city and the way that I’ve supported them. You know, I don’t feel like I deserve anything like this. I feel like this whole week has been emotional in a sense with the outpouring of support and people who have appreciated you and loved you. I can’t say enough just to say thank you to coach [Carlisle] and everyone else. I mean, it’s really an honor to be able to do this, so I thank coach. He’s been great through all this, and it will be great to sit out here and yell at him a little about the play calls he makes tonight.
“At first, I was just feeling like I didn’t deserve any of that. I think no one does. But at the same time, just the honor that the organization, coach, Mark and Dirk to just do something like that, it just makes you feel special. You know, standing here today, I feel a little embarrassed, to be honest, just in the sense that you’re lucky enough to be in a position that someone cares enough to do something to honor you. I’m a lucky guy.”
Romo has formed many bonds and friendships with members of the Mavericks throughout the years, growing close to Carlisle since he took over the coaching duties with the Mavericks before the 2008-09 season. Romo will now be on the Dallas bench as the team attempts to finish the ’16-17 season strong in the home finale against the Nuggets (38-42). And according to Carlisle, the team will do its best to make sure Romo feels the proper amount of appreciation throughout Tuesday’s game.
“I just want to say just briefly that we’re honored to have Tony with us,” Carlisle said. “He has stood for all the things that great Dallas athletes stand for. He’s a great competitor, winner and plays hurt, you know, the whole thing. And he’s been a great supporter of the Mavericks and good friend to myself, to Dirk, Mark and so many of us. We wanted to see if he would be willing to do this, and we’re very happy that he was enthusiastically accepting, so it’s great to have him here. He just busted the (tails) of a few of our young guys out there, so that was fun. But we’re looking forward to a good day, and we hope he has a great time.”
Note: The Mavericks will now return to their home floor on Tuesday, welcoming in the Denver Nuggets. Denver leads the season series 2-1. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on TXA 21 and 103.3 FM ESPN. That game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.
Seth Curry (left shoulder injury) — out