Jason Witten played his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys and retired with only select few names ahead of him for wide receiver stats and only Tony Gonzalez ahead of him as a tight end. Almost his entire NFL career came with Tony Romo throwing him the ball – outside of the times Romo was out with injury and his final season when Dak Prescott was his starting quarterback. Witten shocked the Cowboys fans when he announced his retirement before the 2018 NFL Draft and left the Cowboys without their most popular star for the upcoming season. Witten, who was also best friends with Romo and roommates early in their career, was talking to ESPN about young quarterbacks and he said that he sees the next Tony Romo in this year’s NFL Draft class – and that player isn’t playing for the Cowboys.

Sam Darnold

When it comes to Sam Darnold and Tony Romo, the two men have almost nothing in common. Tony Romo was a small-town kid from Wisconsin who played for a small college in Eastern Illinois. No one in the NFL drafted him and he signed on with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. He then turned around and retired last season with the fourth highest quarterback rating of any player to never make it to the Super Bowl. He also holds most of the Dallas Cowboys passing records, more than names like Roger Staubach, Danny White, and Troy Aikman.

On the other hand, Sam Darnold went to high school in California and ended up as a four-star recruit and one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in his high school class. Instead of making a career at a smaller college and going undrafted, Darnold played two seasons for USC and was the third overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.

The upbringing and pre-NFL experience of Romo and Darnold look nothing alike, but Jason Witten sees strong comparisons.

The comparisons to Romo

According to Jason Witten, Sam Darnold is “calm” and has “poise” that reminds him a “little bit” of the demeanor of Tony Romo. Witten said that the two quarterbacks share the same “moxie.” One of the things that Tony Romo was best known for in his NFL career was making changes on the run, reading defenses and almost playing playground Football on the big stage. He then said that Darnold had the same reputation at USC, going “off script” to make big plays happen.

When it comes to the New York Jets, CEO Christopher Johnson said that Sam Darnold can make things happen when nothing is there. He gave examples like throwing across his body, making big passes when his feet are not even in the right position. He also said that Darnold can do things that are not possible to teach a quarterback when it comes to playing under pressure. That sounds exactly like Tony Romo and his style of football with the Dallas Cowboys.