FRISCO, Texas -- The common refrain from many since QB Tony Romo was released by the Dallas Cowboys and signed by CBS Sports is that the quarterback has retired.
Officially, he hasn’t.
Romo has not filed retirement papers with the NFL, and at the moment he doesn't plan to do so. That does not mean Romo will return to playing status anytime soon, but it does mean the option remains open.
Given his release from the Cowboys, Romo is free to sign elsewhere whenever he wants, depending on any provisions in his deal with CBS. Had he not been released, the Cowboys would have held his rights if Romo opted to return.
In order to be placed on the reserve/retired list, a player under contract has to write a letter to notify his team of his intentions. Right tackle Doug Free, who decided to call it a career earlier this spring, has written that letter, but the Cowboys have yet to place him on the reserve/retired list. Since the Cowboys have released Romo, he now would have to notify the league (not the Cowboys) of his intentions.
It is possible that whenever Romo opts to officially retire, he could re-sign with the Cowboys in a ceremonial way and then be placed on the reserve/retired list. On his conference call announcing his hiring with CBS, Romo spoke about how special it is that he has only been with the Cowboys in his career.
Instead of releasing Romo, the Cowboys could have placed him on the reserve/did not report list. Another Cowboys quarterback great remains on that list to this day: Roger Staubach.