Veteran sportscaster Jim Nantz and rookie Tony Romo find chemistry in the announcer's booth


Jim Nantz and Tony Romo

CBS News

From high above, Jim Nantz may have the best view in football. This season, after nearly 30 years of calling NFL games for CBS, he welcomed a rookie broadcaster: former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

"CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell spoke with the new lead broadcast team for their first interview of the season.

"He is a star. I just love the guy. And I'm so excited for what the season has brought for the football fans, for CBS. And, look, we spent a lotta time this summer getting ready for it. The hall of fame game in Canton, Ohio. CBS built a stand that was I think far removed from the end zone. Somebody said it looked like a deer stand," Nantz said. "This was the lengths that we went to try to be prepared for this season. But as it was going on, I knew there was something special here."

Something special indeed. As the pair was clicking in the booth, Romo quickly earned a reputation for calling plays before they'd happen on the field.

"I think that's a little overrated," Romo said.

Jim Nantz and Tony Romo in the broadcasting booth. 

"He's been picking my lottery numbers for me recently," Nantz joked. "We haven't hit a big one, but we've been close."

"I feel like I see a lot," Romo said. "And you gotta condense it and almost simplify it for the people watching. So I see a front, a coverage. The philosophy of the coach coming into the game, what he wanted to do defensively to make this quarterback think this certain thing. A lot of that is just the history of what you've learned, and you feel, and you know. And then it's like what is what would you wanna know? What would be exciting or new that you could learn or that would take you into – hopefully it's a story. We talk about vignettes, which is a word I had never even heard of but I'm learning it now."

Romo isn't the only one reading the tea leaves for CBS Sports. Tracy Wolfson looks for trends from the sidelines during every game.

"You know, I wear, like, an Apple Watch. And I always, like, check to see how much I'm running. I get about 15,000 steps," Wolfson said.

Wolfson, who reports right from the sidelines, said, "You really get to take the pulse of a team. And I can tell when a team, you know, is having success or will have kind of a good year or a good future ahead of them because you can sense the camaraderie."

Tracy Wolfson  CBS News

Chemistry is an important part of success for a duo like Romo and Nantz.

"We have it I think," Romo said. "Like, for me I had it day one I met Jim Nantz. I mean, he was – A, he loves sports and loves all the same sports I do at like the highest level. And so we could talk about things for- into the wee hours of the night."

"I've known Tony for a long time, admired him for a long time," Nantz said. "And we've been friends and we do have so many things that we share in common even – believe it or not – we have kids that are basically the same age. So I knew that wasn't gonna be something we'd have to go work on, the chemistry. You know, it was there."

On Sunday, Cowboys fans celebrated Romo's return to Dallas with a standing ovation as their one-time quarterback continues in this, his first season with a new team.

"When you make the choice to go from football and, you know, go into the booth, I think, you know, you always hope you get to all of a sudden go, and be in the first team, and you got Jim Nantz as your partner, and you're kinda gonna do football games, but that's not usually reality," Romo said.

"We went into this season not overconfident, not arrogant, but feeling like we're just starting something, a partnership that could be special we hope and we feel is gonna be there for a long time," Nantz said.