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Dont Believe The Hype Over Tony Romo’s Contract

Jess Haynie



Tony Romo

In the days since Tony Romo's much-lauded press conference there's been plenty of speculation about his future. While the possibility of retirement lingers, the general consensus is that he will be be starting for another NFL team in 2017.

Obviously, one of two things will have to happen for Romo to join a new club; he will have to be traded or released from his Cowboys contract. As you can imagine, there are major salary cap implications when a franchise quarterback is involved.

Unfortunately, even some of the biggest personalities in sports don't quite understand how it works.

Skip Bayless on Twitter

Think how much cap $ Jerry would have to beef up the D if he traded Romo! Sure, risks injury to Dak. But so does every team w franchise QB.

Skip spends a lot of time with his head up his own ass, so it's not a surprise that he may not understand the intricacies of the NFL salary cap. Unfortunately, these inaccurate statements create ripples throughout the NFL universe and leave fans confused.

Here are some of the prevalent myths about Tony Romo's contract and how it will affect the Cowboys salary cap going forward. Let's bust 'em up, starting with Skip's false statement.

Myth #1 - Trading Romo Creates Lots of Cap Space

One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that trading a player has a different effect on the salary cap than releasing them. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It is effectively the same transaction when it comes to your cap. The only difference is that you get a draft pick or player for you trouble.

Whether he's traded or released, Tony Romo will still cause $19.6 million in dead money. There won't be any fantastic post-Romo spending spree in 2017.

Myth #2 - Romo Will Cost Us More Money if Traded/Released

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys vs. Redskins Recap: Last minute win, last game for Romo?I've seen several freaking out about that $19 million as if it creates financial chaos for the Cowboys. That couldn't be farther from the truth.

If he was still on the roster in 2017, Tony Romo would count $24.7 million against the salary cap. His trade or release actually cut his cap hit down by $5.1 million dollars, giving us back that much in usable cap space.

Remember, nobody thought Dak Prescott was going to become the Cowboys starter this soon. Dallas has done its salary cap planning based on the assumption that Romo was still going to be here in 2017. Now they will actually have $5 million more to spend than they were likely expecting.

Myth #3 - Romo's Cap Hit Goes Away if He Retires

Another misguided viewpoint; Romo's dead money remains the same even if he retires. It's really no different than a trade or release. It's called "guaranteed money" for a reason.

Teams have sued players to recoup bonus money in the past but have to cite fairly egregious breaches of contract to win. An example of this would be if the Cowboys wanted to sue Rolando McClain for the signing bonus they gave him in 2016.

Obviously, Dallas would never do this to Tony Romo.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Here's what you need to know about Tony Romo's contract and the Dallas Cowboys' salary cap, courtesy of It's really not that complicated.

Romo's $19.6 million in dead money will either be absorbed in 2017 or can be split between 2017 and 2018. If split, he will count $10.7 million against next year's cap and then $8.9 million in 2018.

Cowboys Headlines - Tony Romo: Whatever Comes Next, Thank You For 10 Great YearsIf Dallas eats the entire dead money hit next year, they will still have $5.1 million in extra cap space than if Romo was still on the roster. If they split the dead money, the cap space jumps up to $14 million in 2017.

Remember, Dak Prescott counts next to nothing against the cap while under his rookie contract. Dallas has the luxury to eat the money from Romo's deal because they're not paying anything for his replacement.

Dallas will certainly have a choice to make about splitting the dead money or absorbing it all in 2017. It's going to come down to how many moves they anticipate making next year, both internal re-signings and free agent acquisitions.

That's also a major factor in whether or not they seek to trade Tony Romo.

Trading Romo before that June 1st deadline means they have to eat the full $19 million right away. They may be fine with that, though, especially if it means they're getting a player or draft pick of consequence to help them.

Okay... maybe it's a little complicated, after all.

The point here is that the Cowboys will NOT be anymore cap-strapped by moving Romo than if they kept him. In fact, they will have more flexibility than they would have otherwise. They can deal with his dead money cleanly and easily.

Nothing to worry about.

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

  • Tommy (@TommyVictorySec)

    again, any trade pre-June for Romo will need to include a day 2 pick or better. After June 1, trade will only occur IF a desperate team is willing to part with 2018 day 2 or better pick. Another possibility is trade with a team for starting DE in top 10.
    I highly doubt Cowboys will cut Romo.

    • Jess Haynie

      “I highly doubt Cowboys will cut Romo.”

      Why? What sense does it make to keep a $24 million backup?

      • PerezHBD

        Why would you keep him as backup? So long as he’s healthy, Romo is a much better QB than Dak. Play Romo in 2017 for one last run at the Super Bowl then transition to Dak in 2018 or earlier if Romo gets hurt. Not exactly complicated

  • Roger Pearson

    Would JJ want to keep Romo. Check 2015. How much does a 4-12 season cost the franchise? What is $24 million to JJ when what he wants is the last word on his legacy? Does JJ want another Emmitt or Ware sour taste? As a player-oriented and loyal owner, do you think he remembers Emmitt playing the Giants in that season’s do-or-die final game with only one arm and shoulder? Do you think he remembers Romo playing with a punctured lung and coming back too soon from his broken clavicle (and not telling the coaches to give him max protection)? The answer is a no brainer. BTW, is Romo really injury prone given the supporting cast he played with all these years? If your memory still fails, check Sam Bradford.

  • Jason W.

    Dallas will not get anything more than a 3rd for Romo. It’s not because of talent. It’s because if he does become a free agent, the highest compensatory pick we could get is a 3rd. That’s why NE shipped Collins to CLE for a third. If Collins hot the open market, he likely would command a deal that warrants a 3rd comp pick.

    If DAL does not get an offer to land AT LEAST a 3rd Rd pick, then I wouldn’t deal Romo or cut him. If we take almost a $20m cap hit, keep him until 2018, when his dead money becomes $8.9m.

    A team will not offer anything substantial for a 36 yr old QB with a long history of injury. People will point to the Bradford deal but that’s not equivalent. Bradford wasn’t making $20m and isn’t 36.

  • CowboyMatt

    Ok so you say Bayless has his ‘head up his ass’ about the extra cap money, and then you proceed to explain why he’s correct. Do you read your own articles?

Player News

Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladoucer for 2018 1

Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.

Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of...

While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.

Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladoucer for 2018

Dallas Cowboys LS L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Player News

Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign Linebacker Kyle Wilber

A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.


The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber:

Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.

Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.

The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.

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Player News

Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick

Kevin Brady



Orlando Scandrick

After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.

This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.

Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.

In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.

Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.

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