Tuesday’s speech by Tony Romo in which he ceded the starting quarterback job to Dak Prescott felt like a goodbye of sorts to the Dallas Cowboys, the only team Romo has known. But the Dallas Cowboys are saying they believe Romo could be in their plans beyond 2016.
In fact, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, via ESPN.com’s Todd Archer, that there is no consideration of not having Romo on the roster going forward. Jones said it could be “tenable” to have Romo and Prescott both on the roster in 2017 and that Romo can play another five years at a high level and be a Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
All of this could be viewed as posturing. Releasing Romo would he a tough pill for Jones and the team to swallow, given the salary cap considerations, and the Cowboys would love to develop a trade market for their former starter, if for no other reason than to see what another desperate team might offer.
The team would be on the hook for Romo’s $14 million salary, plus a $5 million bonus that would push his salary-cap hit next season to an unwieldy $24.7 million (with the restructuring the Cowboys have done to his contract). Right now, the Cowboys stand to have the third-most cap dollars (via Spotrac) allocated to the QB position collectively in 2017, the majority of which is on Romo. Romo’s current deal runs through the 2019 season.
Could the Cowboys do it? Well, they’re doing it now and Prescott’s contract is so low, that could make it feasible. But what about the awkwardness of Romo wanting to compete? That might not be tenable beyond this year, and it could force the Cowboys’ hands a bit.
Romo did the team a massive favor by not becoming a whiner or a distraction. He handled the situation graciously. But now he can go to Jones in the offseason and demand a trade if he wants because he knows how financially cumbersome it would be to either cut or keep Romo. Besides, Jones might owe his former franchise quarterback one.
Will Tony Romo ever play for Dallas again? Plus: Week 11 NFL picks
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