Tony Romo: 'I couldn't imagine coaching'

IRVING, Texas -- Tony Romo isn’t just a franchise quarterback any more. He’s essentially serving as the Cowboys’ passing game coordinator now.

As Jerry Jones keeps telling anyone who will listen, Romo will have much more significant input in game-planning and play-calling this season than in the past. The Cowboys want to fully tap into the X’s and O’s expertise Romo has developed during his decade in the NFL, a knowledge that Jones goes so far as to compare to that of Super Bowl-winning Saints head coach Sean Payton.

Could this be the foundation of a coaching career once Romo hangs up his No. 9 jersey for good? Romo isn’t ready to say that.

“I couldn’t imagine coaching,” Romo said. “Those guys work incredibly hard. To me, it’s such an incredibly fun grind as a quarterback. I don’t ever envision not playing right now, so I can’t imagine ever thinking about it in any different way than playing the game.”

The Cowboys are confident that Romo, 33, still has several prime seasons left, as evidenced by the six-year, $108 million contract extension he signed this offseason.

At this point in his career, Romo’s mind is as valuable an asset to the Cowboys as his right arm or legs.

“I think more than anything you just kind of get to the point where you understand the game at a certain level,” Romo said when told of Jones’ Payton comparison. “For me, I think sometimes I think about the game very detailed. Little things matter tremendously as far as the outcome of plays – the releases, the differing things as far as where you want people on certain plays at what depth. And a lot of good coaches do that stuff.

“I just think you see it that way a little bit more when you get older.”

Romo just can’t say him transitioning to being a full-time coach. He has too much football left to play to think that far down the road.