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Tony Romo addresses whether he’ll let his sons play football

Tony Romo became the latest former or current NFL player to address whether he will ever let his children play football, and he indicated during an interview with Dr. Phil that he’s leaning toward allowing them, albeit with one caveat.

Romo, who has three sons — Hawkins (6), Rivers (4) and James (1) — with wife Candice, expressed some reservations about his three boys playing tackle football until later in their junior-high years at the earliest.

“I don’t think I’ll ever discourage them from doing anything,” Romo said on the “Phil in the Blanks podcast by Dr. Phil,” as transcribed by Dallas’ 103.5 The Fan. “Like to me, it goes back to what you said, ‘if you really like this go play it.’ What I won’t allow them, from my dad perspective, if everything’s the same as it is 10 years from now…they won’t play tackle football until 8th grade. That’ll be the first time we’ll let them [play].”

Much obviously has changed since Romo started playing youth football, as the knowledge of brain injuries has become much more extensive, not to mention how research has uncovered the devastating impact of CTE.

With newfound awareness of the substantial, potentially lifelong risks associated with playing football, Dr. Phil wondered if that would ever change Romo’s perspective, asking, “Would you be afraid of head injuries?” 

“I don’t think I’d be afraid. I know about my whole history and I don’t think you do anything afraid. I think if you’re playing you’re playing,” Romo said. “But if you’re thinking about that then you shouldn’t be playing.”

Romo parlayed a great NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys into instant stardom and critical acclaim as a color commentator on CBS’ NFL telecasts. Players like him who made a fortune playing the game they love undoubtedly face a conundrum when deciding if they still view football safe enough to allow their children to participate.

While Romo appears amenable to allowing his three sons to play football in some form, other players, both past and current, have taken a dramatically different stance.