COMMENTARY | It's fair to say that Joe Flacco has made life tough on NFL general managers, not just his own.
Now that Flacco has won a Super Bowl and was named the game's MVP in his contract year, it shouldn't take long before he commands nearly $20 million a year from the Baltimore Ravens. More so than not, the Ravens should feel obligated to pay every single penny.
Simply put, Flacco has set the bar very high for those contract-year quarterbacks.
Enter, Tony Romo.
The talented, yet often-scrutinized quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys will be entering his contract season in 2013, ending the six-year, $67.5 million deal he earned back in 2007.
No question, Romo earned that money at the time. He led the Cowboys to the playoffs the year before after finishing the year ahead of Drew Bledsoe in 2006, and he won the NFC East in his first full year as a starter the next year.
Since then: One playoff win and many heartbreaking losses in the last game of the season. That doesn't sound like the resume of a potential $20-million, or even a $15-milllion quarterback
That not withstanding, however, Romo knows how to put stats up in the regular season. That alone will give him plenty of consideration for a hefty contract that would end towards the end of his career.
The Cowboys are undergoing some serious transformations as they approach 2013, and that doesn't sit well with Romo, despite what Jerry Jones would say about how confident he is in his quarterback.
There's no excuse as to why Dallas' offense should not be a top-10 unit next season. But it'll come down to getting it done in Week 17, and so far, Romo hasn't. That alone should knock a few million from his potential contract.
The blame can no longer go on injuries or any other facet of the game. This year will be all about Romo, as it should be, especially with how last year ended.
If Romo leads the Cowboys to a Super Bowl next year, Jerry Jones may give every cent he has in the world to him. But if he doesn't even get to the playoffs next year, who knows?
This much we do know: Romo will not get paid any more than $15 million a year if Dallas doesn't make the playoffs. At best, he'd get just a little over $10-$11 million.
At best. It could be lower than that.
To us, that sounds like a crazy amount of money. To the NFL world, that separates the best from the good. If Romo wants his money, and possibly his job, beyond 2013, it's time to show everyone he's one of the best.
There's no more time for just good, especially with the Dallas Cowboys.
Danny Webster is a featured columnist for the Dallas Cowboys. You can get in contact with him by following @DannyWebster21 on Twitter.