Former Cowboys QB Urges Patience With Hackenberg And Explains Why Rolling With McCown Is A Good Thing

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tony Romo liked the Jets? Enough to play for them??

That seems to be the case, after the former star quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys said Wednesday he considered joining rebuilding Gang Green during the offseason.

“I took a look at them,” Romo said. “I’m not going to say if they were in the final four, but I did take a look.”

Tony Romo

Tony Romo (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Romo, who threw for more than 34,000 yards with 248 touchdowns and just 117 interceptions during his injury-plagued 12-year career, eventually decided against continuing in the NFL and instead joined CBS as an analyst.

“I gave consideration to a lot of teams. I looked at (the Jets). I looked at film of a bunch of teams,” Romo said. “As I got closer, I narrowed the focus to about four teams, and I ended up choosing CBS before I got down to choosing. Just how the process went.”

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Romo, who will be working with Jim Nantz in the booth on CBS, will help call the Jets-Bills game on Nov. 2.

Following a peculiar quarterback competition in training camp, the Jets settled on veteran Josh McCown as their starter. They did so despite the 38-year-old playing just one series total in the first three preseason games. Youngsters Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty each got an extensive look by head coach Todd Bowles as the Jets continue their seemingly never-ending search for a franchise cornerstone at the position.

Romo said he’s not down on Hackenberg, even though the second-year signal-caller has looked awful in the preseason.

“I still believe that quarterbacks improve in that second and third year,” Romo said. “If you’re not seeing a pretty good size improvement, I think you know. You can always play and get better. But they probably need a good team around them to be successful. With Hackenberg, it’s still very early. We’re in Year 2. … And so you got to give him this season and maybe the beginning of next season to see some growth, and then you’ll know.”

The four-time Pro Bowler said while fans understandably want a franchise quarterback, the Jets’ coaching staff is thinking about the short term as well, like winning games.

“Everyone wants the quarterback of the future and I think everybody wants the guy who’s going to be there for eight to 10 years, gives you hope, gives you excitement. But that coach and that organization are thinking about winning Game 1. They’re thinking about this season, and McCown gives them the best chance for that,” Romo said. “At the same time, they need to be consistent, and it’s hard to be consistent when you don’t have a lot of talented players.”

Earlier this week, Bowles didn’t rule out the idea of McCown, and several other of the Jets’ starters, playing in the final preseason game Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles. Though the finale has generally been a showcase for potential backups to fight for roster spots, Bowles said there’s no telling how much McCown and others will play.

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