In the 1997 season, Romo and the Demons finished with a 3–6 record, though he earned several honors, including the All-Racine County football team and Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-State first team honors.Romo also was a starter on the Burlington High School varsity basketball team and also played golf and tennis.

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In 2004, the Cowboys released Hutchinson and signed veteran quarterback Vinny Testaverde and traded a third round draft pick to the Houston Texans for quarterback Drew Henson.

Romo faced being cut from the roster until Quincy Carter was released following allegations of substance abuse.

He finished his career holding school and conference records with 85 touchdown passes.

As a senior, he set school and conference records for completions with 258 in 407 attempts for 3,418 yards.

As a junior, he led Division I-AA in passing efficiency, completing 138-of-207 passes for 2,068 yards and 21 touchdowns.

On December 19, 2002, Romo became the first player in Eastern Illinois and Ohio Valley Conference history to win the Walter Payton Award, given annually to the top Division I-AA football player.

17 jersey and inducted him into EIU's Hall of Fame.

Romo is the first Eastern Illinois player to have his number retired.

Romo began the season as a backup to starter Drew Bledsoe.