CBS analyst and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s mind might have raced through a series of “what ifs” while broadcasting the New England Patriots’ win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on “Thursday Night Football.”
That’s because Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola, who caught eight passes on eight targets for 77 yards while adding another 51 yards on punt returns, actually began his career with Romo in Dallas.
Amendola signed with the Cowboys after going undrafted out of Texas Tech in 2008. He was cut out of training camp and spent his rookie season on the practice squad before moving on to the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams and finally the Patriots, with whom he’s become a two-time Super Bowl champion.
The receivers who made Dallas’ 53-man roster over Amendola that season? Terrell Owens, Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton, Sam Hurd, Isaiah Stanback and Mike Jefferson.
So why didn’t Amendola make the roster over, say, Jefferson?
“When he came to Dallas, we were a vertical (offense), which means we would run down the field 20 yards,” Romo said on Thursday’s broadcast. “We didn’t have this, like, east and west, 2-yard, really, game. We just didn’t have these little options — that little route there, that 4-yard, decide what to do. We didn’t have that. And I wanted to start putting that into the offense more and more. And we ended up getting rid of him, but we ended up getting it with Cole Beasley.”
Amendola has 23 catches for 267 yards with one touchdown this season despite missing a game with a concussion. He’s on pace for his most productive season as a Patriot.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images