The wave for drafting undrafted free agents has come and gone, but one selection will never be forgotten.
History suggests that even undrafted free agents can go on to enjoy a successful pro career. One of the greatest stories in all-time dates back to 2003 when the Dallas Cowboys took quarterback Tony Romo out of Eastern Illinois University.
Former Green Bay Packers executive Andrew Brandt recalls a good story which he posted on Twitter.
“In 2003, amid the undrafted signing chaos, one of our scouts yelled out “Anyone want to sign this quarterback named Tony Romo? He’s from Wisconsin.” Crickets.”
Romo going undrafted generate some buzz. Thanks to bidding wars, players left over have the luxury of choosing their NFL home. Three teams took to the bidding on Romo. That included the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, and Cowboys.
At the time, former Eastern Illinois University star, Sean Payton, was the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach, which made the decision to take less money easier.
After going undrafted, the Broncos offered Tony Romo $20,000,” via Action Network’s Darren Rovell. “The Cowboys topped out at $10,000. Guy went on to make nearly $130 million.”
In 2003, amid the undrafted signing chaos, one of our scouts yelled out "Anyone want to sign this quarterback named Tony Romo? He's from Wisconsin." Crickets.
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) April 25, 2020
In 2006, Romo took over as the team’s starting quarterback by surpassing Drew Bledsoe. The rest was history. Despite little playoff success, he made four Pro Bowls and finished fourth all-time in NFL history’s best passer rating.
That rating only trails Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Drew Brees. The 97.1 mark narrowly beats Tom Brady’s 97.0.
He holds many franchise records, including the team’s single-season and all-time passing yards marks.
Now, he is one of the best broadcasters in football and was paid a massive contract by CBS.
The Cinderella story just keeps adding chapters.