Tony Gonzalez says he was NOT forced out at CBS to make room for the new guy, Tony Romo -- telling TMZ Sports the decision to leave was HIS and his alone.

The future Hall of Fame tight end spent 3 seasons on "The NFL Today" (and was pretty good) only to announce he was leaving the show back in March.

A few days later, CBS announced Romo was joining the network as a live game broadcaster -- replacing Phil Simms who will take over for Gonzalez on "The NFL Today."

So ... was Tony G pushed out??

Gonzalez is adamant the answer is 'No' -- and gives a pretty solid explanation about his career choice.

And for the record, Tony G says he wishes Romo well and even offers some advice.