NFL Combine Worker Recalls Pre-Draft Romo - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/21/07 - Tyler

NFL Combine Worker Recalls Pre-Draft Romo

Before Tony Romo was the gunslinging, celeb-dating, jersey-selling quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, he was just another guy coming out of a small college, trying to make it to the NFL. For four years, Tyler's Rory Dukes worked at the NFL draft combine, the place where athletes go through a barrage of tests and trials to determine if they'll hear their name on draft day.

"Especially when they're in the psychological testing area, they spent about eight hours a day with me," Dukes said. "I got a chance to talk to these guys and get to know them a bit better."

Romo was brought in as a throwing quarterback, a QB who also works with the receivers and running backs. 

"He came in from a smaller college, and didn't have the big name like a Carson Palmer or Chris Simms. Not that I didn't notice him, but he didn't stand out like the other guys did."

"My thought of him, and this shows you how wrong you can be, was that he might be a good career backup in the NFL. If he was ever going to be a starter, he'd be a 9-7 quarterback at best."

So how did the face of America's Team wind up undrafted? Dukes says all the physical tests still can't measure everything.

"You can question them and talk to people," Dukes said, "but you still can't see inside someone. You don't know what their desire is."

"With as much money as is spent in evaluation, it just shows you it's not an exact science."

Reid Kerr can be reached at


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