Posted March 29, 2013

Tony Romo signs $108 million extension to stay with Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys
For better or worse, the Cowboys have made a long-term commitment to quarterback Tony Romo. (James D Smith/AP)

For better or worse, the Cowboys have made a long-term commitment to quarterback Tony Romo. (James D Smith/AP)

What’s one career playoff win worth for a quarterback? In Tony Romo’s case, apparently a lot.

Romo signed a six-year, $108 million extension with the Cowboys on Friday (on top of the $11.5 million he’s due to earn in 2013), which could keep the longtime starter in Dallas through 2019. The deal includes $55 million guaranteed — or three million more than defending Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco recently received from the Baltimore Ravens.

It’s a huge commitment by the Cowboys to a player that is much more appreciated by his own franchise than by anyone else. Romo is 55-38 as a starter since 2006, but the Cowboys have finished each of the past two seasons at 8-8 and have not been to the playoffs since 2009. That year produced Romo’s only playoff win, a 34-14 triumph over Philadelphia; Dallas lost to Minnesota by 31 the next week.

Romo would have become an unrestricted free agent after 2013 — a clause in his previous contract barred the Cowboys from using the franchise tag on him. That’s not an issue any longer.

The massive amount of money Dallas put up on the table instead is clear proof of two things:

1. The Cowboys did not want to come up with a Plan B should Romo hit free agency. The team does not have anyone resembling a potential QB of the future on the roster, nor was there any indication Dallas would spend a draft pick on a quarterback next month.

2. The franchise pins the blame for its recent struggles elsewhere. You do not hand out $108 million to a player you are unconvinced can get the job done.

This all keeps the much-maligned Romo very much in the crosshairs of his critics. While he will enter the 2013 season with substantially more job security than he might have otherwise, the pressure will be on to live up to a contract befitting a Super Bowl-contending QB.

That said, Romo has been better over the past few seasons — at least statistically — than people may realize. He finished third in the league in yards passing in 2012 (4,903), 10th in QB rating (90.5) and second in completions (425).

The Romo detractors will counter with the 19 interceptions he threw, as well as with the fact that Dallas has lost a Week 17 winner-takes-the-division game two straight seasons. The Cowboys suffered that cruel fate against the Giants in 2011, then dropped a 28-18 game in Washington to close 2012.

A team should expect its franchise quarterback to win games like that, and Romo’s extension implies that the Cowboys believe he is capable of doing so. But if he does not beginning proving that true in the very near future, this will go down as a very expensive mistake.

86 comments
Stanley
Stanley

How is it Romos fault when he throws a perfect pass to Bryant, and Bryant drops the ball?  How is it Romo's fault when the defense misses a block?  How is it Romo's fault when the running back fumbles the ball?  Their are 10 other players on the field!  Romo and Whitten keep this team alive.  Like it or not.  He has made mistakes, just like EVERY OTHER QB in this league.  However, if you watch a full cowboys game from start to finish, and not just the highlight reels...you will see that the rest of the team helps contribute to what makes Romo look bad.

Gary6
Gary6

Romo is an average QB on an average team with an average coach.  They will be 8-8, just as the were last year, and the year before.  You dont get better by overpaying average and reaching on draft picks.  Someday, the Cowboys will realize that.  Not today.

chaotic
chaotic like.author.displayName 1 Like

As a long-time Dallas Cowboys hater I am pleased to see that Jerry Jones has committed himself to Tony Romo for the foreseeable future.

firedog
firedog

The numbers here are fake, like all publicity about NFL contracts. The Guarantee is only 40 million. Dallas can get out of the contract for another 7.5 mill before the 3rd year. If Romo plays the 3rd year, he will have gotten a total of 57 mill, and Dallas will be out of the contract. A lot of money, yes, but  not more than Flacco and not the kind of amounts being written about.

denmarks47
denmarks47

And let's not forget reason #3:  Jerry Jones still thinks he makes good GM type decisions.  Jerry, Tom Landry is howling and Jimmy Johnson is asking how he could have worked for such an idiot.  Jerry Stick to booking Barnum and Baily Circus and tractor pulls in your stadium.  The dog called the Dallas Cowboys aint gonna hunt with you at the helm.

agenera
agenera

Look everyone can argue about this all day but bottom line is for those you don't like Romo or the contract please enlighten the rest of us on who you would replace him with?  Honestly.  Who out there would you bring in?  Matt Flynn, who's whole hype is based on ONE game do you risk him not panning out seeing as how a rookie beat him out for the starting job after Seattle paid him.  Kevin Kolb, who is the original Matt Flynn and we all see how that saga is turning out.  Alex Smith is off the market.  Carson Palmer, who is clearly past his prime.  Matt Cassel, who was also paid to be the savior of a franchise but couldn't do a thing.  Draft?  With the exception of this year we all know drafting a qb to be a HUGE risk.  This is Dallas' only option at the position.  Hate him and the deal all you want but it's all we have.  Honestly though if any of you have an idea of who out there you would rather have I'd love to hear to your thoughts because I can't think of anyone. Cheers

Gary6
Gary6

 @ageneraRomo is a slightly above average QB who just got superbowl QB money.  Overpaying and reaching on draft picks is why the Cowboys have been irrelevant for 20 years.  Griffin, luck, tannehill, and wilson were ALL available to draft last year.  Forward thinking would have gotten one of them to be the Cowboys QB this season.  But the Cowboys had already determined that overpaying to keep Romo was their future plan.

 

OK
OK

Tony El Choko, the perennial loser, gets $108 million from the Cowgirls. Jerry Jones confirms for the 1,694th time that he's the Biggest Idiot in professional sports.

Thomas9
Thomas9

I wonder at what point people will realize that Romo helped a bad team win more games than they would have with another quarterback.  Would any Dallas fans like to trade Romo for any quarterback the browns or dolphins have had since Kosar and Marino?  Yeah, I didn't think so.

 

So he self destructs at some point during an important regular season or playoff game.  Thats what happens when you're trying hard all year to lift a team above what it'd be capable of otherwise.  Put Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson back there and you have a 5 or 6 win team that never even sniffs the playoffs.

 

That he's also one of the nicest guys on earth and a great face of the franchise is just a bonus.  He's not refusing to give autographs at the pro bowl.  He's not getting arrested for DUI's and beating up his wife.  He's not bad mouthing his team mates and throwing them under the bus.

 

Jerry Jones' problem isn't paying Romo too much.  Its pretty much everything else he's done.  Like signing a bunch of defensive players not smart enough to run Rob Ryans defense.  Hint: when your players aren't smart enough to run a complex defense, firing the coordinator isn't your best long term solution.

agenera
agenera

 @Thomas9

 Well said.  I agree with everything you wrote.  I myself have been critical of Romo just like any Cowboy fan but you hit it right on the money

Loki
Loki

 @Thomas9I wonder when you will realize that he held back a VERY talented team. Ultimately, it isn't really his fault. TO came in and turned Romo into just another one of the clowns in the circus, and Romo never recovered. He just isn't a leader and a leader is what the Cowboys have been needing.

 

Cougarblue
Cougarblue

Yet another example of how not having a GM has prevented the Cowboys from relevance. I have to admit that seeing that frustrated 'ole Jerry Jones, blubber through another excuse after excuse for the ''Boys ineptitude is a delight. I've seen 165 year old Turtles with more attractive heads than Jone's, but the suits are nice.

Chris66
Chris66

Hey, Good for Tony Romo!  I am so thankful to teams like Dallas keep paying these guys like this!  It is great entertainment.  However, they should only pay that kind of money to guys that can WIN by sheer will when they must, (Staubach, Bradshaw, Montana, Elway, Brady, Manning (both)).  You don't pay it to a guy UNTIL he demonstrates that ability.  Period.  Second thing to consider is how the contract was structured.  Consider this; Joe Flacco's cap numbers don't break $20M until 2016 (they'll undo this by then).  Peyton Manning's Cap numbers don't ever break $20M (and he's worth it).  Drew Brees' Cap numbers don't break $20M until 2015(I smell another rework by then).  Romo's Cap hit will be $11M this year, then $21.7M next year and $25.2M after that(with $41.6M of dead money in 2014 and $19.9M of dead money in 2015).  If the Cowboys are in a "Win Now" mode, they just set themselves up continue their cap challenges for another two years at the least with a guy that has not proven he can win the big one.  Not saying he's not a good QB, just that he hasn't proven that level of worth.  and they can't even UNDO the deal without a Major financial penalty!  This is great stuff!  But Hey, I'm glad for him/them.  Thank you God, for Jerry Jones.  His arrival in Dallas is THE single best thing to ever happen to the New York Football Giants.  Keep up the great work!

Scramble
Scramble

 @Chris66 Bradshaw won because of steroid use. Elway won because the NFL didn't want to lose money by him retiring. Brady won because of Steven Spielberg filming other teams for Belecheat. Manning won because they wouldn't call holding on Tyree's helmet catch. Satan Manning beat the Ravens in 06 because they let them line their offensive tackles in the backfield to give them an edge. If Romo had any of those edges he might even have a super bowl ring as well.

Chris66
Chris66

 @Scramble Whatever Dude.  You're missing the point.  Romo is a damn good quarterback.  But if you're going to mortgage the future of the team on one guy, he'd better be able to will the team to critical wins, by himself; because there won't be anybody else to do it.  Romo hasn't proved that he can manufacture wins like the guys I mentioned before at all.  And after $108M and the cap hit they're taking on him, he's never going to see one of those edges you were talking about.  Better buckle Up! It's going to be a bumpy ride...

Scramble
Scramble

 @Chris66  @Scramble The Ravens are in the same boat. As good as people think Flacco looked in the playoff run, he's just a middle of the pack quarterback. Forget about him willing the team to a win. The whole Ravens team stepped up in that playoff run with an incredible amount of lucky or just freakish plays. They are starting to reload the defense once again, since that is what kept them in the playoffs the past five years.

Loki
Loki

 @Chris66  @ScrambleRomo is not a good QB....he is mediocre, not because of his physical ability, but because of his poor decisions and complete lack of leadership....

 

AnnabelLee
AnnabelLee

 @Chris66 Good analysis Chris but no need to take a shot at Flacco who has taken his team to the playoffs 5 straight seasons with 9 wins, set numerous franchise and league records, helped bring home a sb, and won sb mvp at the most important position in the game.  Put those numbers up against Aaron Rodgers and you will see they are better.  So time for the lemmings to stop taking cheap shots at Flacco.  Romo on the other hand has 1 playoff win.  Enough said.

Chris66
Chris66

 @AnnabelLee I'm not taking a shot at Flacco.  I genuinely believe he deserves to be rewarded.  I agree, the guy is a VERY GOOD QB.  My shot is at the fools running the team that are potentially crippling their chance to win in the future.  QB position Very important.  But 20% of the cap to one guy?  Not Smart.  This is a team sport with 53 roster positions.  No other analysis needed.  By the way, as an example of this, I am a Giants fan and I fear for my team, because Eli is carrying the BIGGEST cap number in the league this year.  I am afraid that not enough supporting talent will be there to help them back to the playoffs and the Superbowl.  My own team is the most guilty here...

fmfrijoles
fmfrijoles

As a REDSKINS fans....I can only thank Jerry Jones for this ridiculous contract......and guaranteeing the Cowboys will do nothing for the forseeable future but be mediocre.

ThermanDabbler
ThermanDabbler

Best free agent signing the Eagles could have hoped for!

JUSTINL
JUSTINL like.author.displayName 1 Like

I don't know why anyone outside of Cowboys fans are angry about this. Dallas just secured another 6 years of mediocrity and we should all be happy! Romo is a choke. Simple.

TomMarzullo
TomMarzullo

Goes to prove my point......Romo is smarter than Jerry Jones and has just proved it.

WillWillis1
WillWillis1

It's an NFL contract, which means the only number that has any meaning is the $55 million guaranteed. In the NFL it's much more likely he'll be cut in two years than actually play out the length of that contract.

Chris66
Chris66

 @WillWillis1 If they cut him AFTER the next two seasons they take a $19M cap penalty.  A cut by then Ain't happening.  They are stuck with Romo and the contract.  This is great stuff for other NFC East fans...  even in 2016 the cap hit would be $11.6M.  They are stuck with Tony for at LEAST 4 years...

ArnoldNewman
ArnoldNewman like.author.displayName 1 Like

Guys, it doesn't matter.  Cowboys were a lost cause before this signing and they are still a lost cause now.  Until Jerry Jones dies, the Cowboys will be what they are: mediocre.  Regardless of whether his football skills are one thing or another, at least this money went to a very decent human being.

AEE
AEE like.author.displayName 1 Like

The best news for other teams in the Division, Conference and League. Romo is a great stats QB. Throws a bunch, gets a lot of yards and TDs. But the downside is he doesn't have the big-game "it" factor that already every other QB in his division has shown. Throwing 4 TD's is great in October, but throwing 3 Ints in the final game of the season counts much much more.

 

Saying they had no other option is absurd. So, there isn't a good option to replace him in 2013? That doesn't mean you hitch your wagon to him for another 4+ years. You bite the bullet and let him go, let Orton be your 2013 QB and keep an eye on drafting your future next year.

 

Jerry Jones - GM, Medical Director, Team President, CEO, Executive Head Coach for life.

ShamusHusky
ShamusHusky

" ....Romo's extension implies the Cowboys believe he is capable of doing so ."

 Of course he's capable, everyone who follows the Cowboys knows that .... Having no plan, poor drafting (the stuff GM's get fired for) boxed them in a corner.  Simply, they had no choice.

skotthope
skotthope like.author.displayName 1 Like

The can't be real. This has to be an early April Fools joke for Dallas fans. I mean somebody tell me they didn't give this loser 108 million. Please wake me during the playoffs so we can see the real waste of money here. No sane company gives that type of cash to a 2nd string QB unless he's got something on the boss.

Shooter McGavin 19711
Shooter McGavin 19711 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

 @skotthope He's not a second string QB.  He's a decent QB who plays behind the worst OLINE in the league, with the worst head coach in the league and virtually no running game.  Is he worth the money?  Nope.  But he's not a second stringer either.  The only thing dumber than a Romo apologist, is a Romo hater.  Thanks for proving my point.

skotthope
skotthope

 @Shooter McGavin 19711

 I'm not a hater. Why would I hate a choke artist? Blame everyone except Romo huh? He had a running game, he had a O-Line, he had a coach he had it all, HE didn't have guts under pressure. Now you may call me what you want but read what DALLAS FANS are writing bro. I for one am glad they decided to waste their money on him, I can't stand America's clowns. With him at QB he all but assures Dallas has no nope against anyone during the playoffs, we can all look right pass Dallas and onto the second round.

fabio.fantone
fabio.fantone

 @skotthope  @Shooter McGavin 19711 I'm a Dallas fan since the late 1970's and I'm happy they got him signed. There is no better option for them at QB and although he has a history of mistakes, he had made more plays then lost for them over the years. I guess my faith runs eternal for the team with the star on their helmet. Unlike the bulk of the jaded, cynics on here.

bdby48
bdby48 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I went to the Univ. of Arkansas & graduated w/ that blowhard, Jerry Jones. I went to Vietnam & his money kept him at home. He & Al Davis, 2 of the NFL's biggest pricks & w/ all thats gone wrong w/ the Dallas Cowboys over the last several years this idiot just sunk $108 million into a LOSER. The only man that I ever met who played for the Cowboys who was worth $108 mil was Roger Staubach, I was a LTJG & he was a LT. He was & still is a great guy, a gentleman, a rhode scholar & a hell of a QB. I still believe that the superbowl between them & the Steelers was one of the greatest games ever played.

Cougarblue
Cougarblue

@bdby48 Rich is nice, but to have to carry around the ugliest head, I've ever seen, at the same time evens the playing field. I'd rather be making minimum wage and average looking. And to be tied to the worse GM in the NFL.....his life isn't THAT good.

Jcat71
Jcat71 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

Alright, settle down people... While the guaranteed money is high (a necessity from the cap situation), the average per year which is $17m (he was already due $16.5m this year). I believe that average makes him 6th on the list which is just about right because he's top 10 in nearly every passing category including #1 for the most 4th quarter comebacks in the last 6 seasons (things you'd know only by watching all the games, not just the hyped few). Nobody is saying he's 'elite' at all but he's a better than average QB that has had no consistent running game since 2007 and weak to atrocious defensive support since 2009. He is not the problem.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

 @Jcat71

 I'm no Cowboy fan, but that was the most logical, reasonable, well-researched post in a while. Kudos!

EricBennett
EricBennett like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @Jcat71 Agreed Jcat71. There isn't anyone in the draft or free agency who was going to be a better option than Romo. People who think Romo couldn't play well in New England behind the team that Tom Brady plays with are crazy. Anyone remember Matt Cassel lighting things up in New England when Tom Brady went down and then did nothing in Kansas City? It is the ultimate team game. Romo's biggest problem is forcing throws in tight spots when he is having to constantly rally his team from behind when the defense hasn't stopped anyone the entire game. Let's see Tom Brady run for his life behind the Cowboys woeful offensive line.

 

The Cowboys have problems... they are obvious. They could be a playoff team (not saying Super Bowl team) next year though if their defense plays a little better and their offensive line blocks people. The Cowboys were decimated with injuries last year and still managed to be one win away from the playoffs. 

Chris66
Chris66

 @EricBennett  @Jcat71 It's not the cost per year, that's the dead weight on this contract, it's the damage this does to their cap options.  Look at the Cap hits Romo's contract generates in 2014 and 2016 ($21.7M & $25.2M).  Then consider the dead money tied to this deal if he is cut (still at $11M in 2016).  Jerry just mortgaged the next 7 years on Romo, with the most painful being 2014 to 2016.  If you guys want to bank on the "team" concept as being the issue, Jerry just sold that option down the river.  The Cap hits get ridiculous in 2014 and 2015, and the dead money keeps them from "undoing" this contract until at least 2017 without major pain/cap issues.  Even with a "restructure" they'll only extend the pain, not mitigate it.  With this contract there will be a lot less "team" to support him...  Jerry Jones; the rest of the NFC East thanks you...

EricBennett
EricBennett

 @Chris66  @Jcat71 It's not our money. We don't own the team. We don't even have to be fans. So many Cowboy haters out there. lol.

 

For all we know the cap will rise $10 million more next year and the Cowboys won't have a problem. If the Cowboys team (yes, team... still a team game) play well then maybe three or four years down the line this will be a bargain. If not, oh well. Fans don't have a financially vested interest in the teams that they follow. Whenever you don't like the team you follow you can just hop off the bandwagon and join some other team.

 

I've been a fan of the Cowboys since 1978. I don't agree with everything they do (I do agree that Rob Ryan needed to go though), but it isn't my money. 

 

It didn't seem like there were this many people ripping on the Detroit Lions when they were pathetic year after year.

Glory to the King Jesus
Glory to the King Jesus like.author.displayName 1 Like

Jerry,

          Thank you so much for donating to the Tony Romo retirement fund, I hope your not depending on him delivering you a super bowl in this century or the next.  Jerry you make me laugh alot I can tell you that,but don't feel to bad about it,we buffaloians have been watching losing teams our whole life. At least your town has multiple championships. Good Luck this year and God speed :)

Mac Dougal
Mac Dougal like.author.displayName 1 Like

That's $107,999,999 too much for this loser. The Plowboys will ALWAYS suck so long as Jerky Jones is the owner. Romo is average at best. Dallas will NEVER win a championship w/ Romo at QB. NEVER!

Nolan D
Nolan D like.author.displayName 1 Like

Jerry Jones has got to be the dumbest...well we know he's a lame head coach and a even more lame GM..but i thought he was a little smarter as a business man. Not mad at Romo for stealing the money [i know most of us would do the same] but at the end of the day he will never be a hall-of-fame Qb.... [but recieved hall-of-fame bread] Jerry and his son must have been smoking dope and drinking to have made such an emotional decision..they had to be emotional when they paid this type of money to a non-Brady/Manning/Rogers type!!!-

LeilaniHernandez
LeilaniHernandez

not worth 108 mill. 108 million for what? 6 more years of futility? i bet romo made more than aikman and staubach ever made in their career combined yet i will take the last 2 any time of the day.