By now many of you must be wondering what will ultimately happen with Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. It’s been weeks since the start of Free Agency, and before that the news broke that the Cowboys informed Romo that he would be released on March 9, and that was the last that anyone has heard about the team’s intent to release the veteran quarterback.
According to My Top Sportsbooks, there is still a decent chance that the Cowboys will cut Tony Romo, but the question is more a matter of when they will cut him.
Day 1 of Free Agency began amidst a flurry of trade talks. The Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans reportedly showed interest, if you were following the Dallas media. If you followed the Denver and Houston media, though, neither team was actually interested in trading for Tony Romo.
Reports from each location specifically denied the team’s interest in a trade, and only Houston really expressed much interest in him at all. In a clear statement, they said Tony Romo was not an option for them until he was on the open market.
The Texans struggled last year with second-year quarterback, Brock Osweiler, after giving him a considerably large, 5-year, $72M contract before the 2016 season. But during the season, Osweiler gave way to Tom Savage for several games and he wasn’t bad. Since then there has been a lot of talk about Savage possibly being the starter over Osweiler in 2017, and that talk was substantiated when the Texans traded Osweiler to the Cleveland Browns.
The Broncos had stated that if they were to pursue Tony Romo, it would also be on the open market, and that it would mean the team is finished with Trevor Siemian. Siemian started 14 games for Denver in 2016, while then-Rookie QB Paxton Lynch developed his skills and started two games. Lynch is the future of the franchise and the Broncos seem quite comfortable with that position.
So then where does that leave Tony Romo?
Well, for now at least, it leaves him on the Cowboys’ roster.
About the only thing that is certain at this point is that Dak Prescott is the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, which means Tony Romo can be nothing more than a backup.
It’s quite the luxury the Cowboys have with Romo as a backup. They’re the only team in the NFL with a proven, high-caliber player in a backup role at a skill position. Sure, there are plenty of questions about his durability, but few can deny his ability to win games when healthy. So if Dallas decides to hang onto Romo for 2017, they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, only wasteful.
Tony Romo is due more than $24M in 2017 if he remains a Cowboy. That’s a mighty sum to pay a backup, at any position. Many feel the Cowboys must release Tony to free up some of that cap space.
If the Cowboys were to cut Tony Romo today, they’d free up about $5M in space on the 2017 salary cap. His base salary of $14M would disappear and the prorated portions of his contract over the next three season would advance to 2017 (about $19M). If they were to designate Tony as a post-June 1 cut, the 2017 cap space would increase by $5M immediately, with another $10M available to them on June 2. The only downside to the June 1 option is that it would leave nearly $9M on the 2018 cap, which figures to be a problem due to the coming extension for offensive guard, Zack Martin, among other things.
Several teams are still in the market for a quarterback who can win, even if only tentatively, and Romo is no doubt aware of them all.
The Kansas City Chiefs are a distant possibility with increasing tension between starting QB Alex Smith and Head Coach Andy Reid. But Alex Smith is under contract through 2017, and has an option in his contract for 2018. Figuring Reid would take the smart approach and keep Smith on the roster, the Chiefs would have to shell out $16.9M to Smith on top of whatever contract they give Romo. That’s a lot of money for one position.
The Washington Redskins were an option, until they placed the franchise tag on returning QB Kirk Cousins. They also have Colt McCoy on the roster.
The San Francisco 49ers are under new management with first-time General Manager John Lynch stepping out of the FOX broadcast booth, and they’re not exactly happy with the best QB on their roster. Colin Kaepernick has sparked controversy in recent years for refusing to honor our National Anthem, and in combination with a few shortcomings on the field, this seems to be enough to warrant the Niners moving on. Both Kaepernick and their 2016 starter Blaine Gabbert are free agents.
The Chicago Bears signed Mike Glennon.
The New York Jets just signed Josh McCown to join Christian Hackenberg, and Bryce Petty on the depth chart. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a free agent.
The Buffalo Bills seem resolute with Tyrod Taylor under center.
And the list goes on and on.
The bottom line is this: if Tony Romo can stay healthy for a whole season, his current 2017 salary of $14M would be a bargain for any team that feels a top-rated quarterback is the only thing lacking for Super Bowl contention. But that’s a pretty big if.
Too big for most teams to swallow, it would seem.
The Dallas Cowboys are nearing very dangerous territory the longer they hold onto Tony Romo, preventing him from moving on to a meaningful opportunity with another team. Spots are being filled, leaving fewer openings for Romo to play, and that’s clearly what he wants, is to play, to compete.
Players throughout the league notice when a team places the team so far ahead of the player, and while everyone knows the NFL is a business, who really wants to work for a company who treats their employees badly? I outlined the case of another La’el Collins happening after this, should the Cowboys really do Romo wrong, on a recent episode of The Star Podcast. Give it a listen if you want to hear more about that.
Some are rumbling about doing Romo wrong by holding him back (myself included). Others are saying the Cowboys should force Romo to either back up Dak Prescott in 2017 or retire. But most seem to agree that Tony Romo is done in Dallas, one way or another.
For now, however, we are resigned to waiting. The Cowboys will make their intentions clear at some point, and logic would have that clarity coming before the NFL Draft next month, but only time will tell.
What do you guys think? Will Tony Romo be a Cowboy come September, will he even be in the league? I’d love to read your feedback in the comments below.
Report: QB Dak Prescott Signs Multi-Year Deal With Campbell’s Chunky Soup
Being the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback comes with its challenges, but it certainly comes with its perks as well. One of those perks is the opportunity for endorsement deals, and income outside of his football salary.
Dak Prescott is embracing those perks now, reportedly signing a multi-year deal with Campbell's Chunky Soup through 2020. Prescott will continue to endorse Chunky MAXX, Campbell's protein soup line.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has re-signed a new multi-year deal with Campbell's Chunky Soup through 2020. This is the first QB multi-year deal for Chunky Soup since Donovan McNabb in 2001. He'll continue to promote Chunky MAXX, the protein-packed line of soups, this year, per Edelman
Campbell's Soup has had some legendary football related commercials throughout the years, none more memorable than those with former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb and his mother.
In fact, Dak Prescott is the first NFL quarterback to sign a multi-year deal with Campbell's Chunky Soup since those McNabb commercials.
Hopefully, Dak Prescott can continue to "prove it" on the field and still be the Cowboys starting quarterback throughout this entire Campbell's deal.
BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year
For the second consecutive year, Defensive Lineman David Irving is being suspended for four games by the NFL. This time, the suspension comes after Irving violated the NFL's policy on substance of abuses, as Ian Rapoport reported.
Cowboys DL David Irving is being suspended 4 games for violating @NFL policy on substance of abuses, sources say. Another big-time D-linemen hit with a suspension for Dallas.
Irving will play for the Dallas Cowboys after the team placed a second-round tender on him earlier in the year. Why no team was interested in picking such a talented defensive tackle for a second round pick is becoming clearer and clearer as the time goes on.
In April, when David Irving got hacked by his former girlfriend one of the tweets that stood out the most was one which said "Wait until you all find about his failed drug tests." Now, we're seeing what the tweet was about.
Irving is a very talented player that could have a great career ahead of him. Of course, with this being the second consecutive year in which he receives a suspension to start the season, one could question how much he wants it.
The Cowboys will play the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks and Lions to start the season. They'll have to do it with one of their most promising defensive players in David Irving.
Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with this story and every Dallas Cowboys news.
Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers
When Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten retired from the NFL last month, he left behind an unproven group of tight ends for the Cowboys to field as Witten moves on to the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. This is not a TE group short of potential, although that's nothing new for the laundry list of players that have failed at the position behind the Hall of Fame bound Witten.
Headlining this group of potential heirs to Witten has to be 2016 draft pick Rico Gathers. Not yet given the same opportunities that Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin are receiving through the Cowboys ongoing mini camp, Gathers has been criticized for his commitment to his team.
Looking to make the transition from the basketball court at Baylor to the football field, Gathers' journey began at Witten's soon-to-be home forever. Playing his first organized football game since middle school, Gathers and Witten were teammates in the Hall of Fame game at Canton, Ohio in 2017.
A game rarely leaving fans with a lasting memories, Gathers immediately flashed potential in the passing game, hauling in three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Gathers would go on to spend the season on IR after a concussion suffered in practice, recovering from it in time to return but never seeing the field.
This leaves Gathers' prospects of putting it all together in year three at a difficult crossroads. It will be hard to question Gathers' commitment moving forward, as the message from his former teammate Jason Witten still lives with him.
If Witten truly sees a "bright future" for Rico Gathers, who Head Coach Jason Garrett says needs work in the running game, there is no reason the Cowboys can't find a role for him this season. With an entirely unproven group of wide receivers, Gathers could be the reliable mismatch for Dak Prescott to target in the middle of the field.
Prescott was the ninth worst quarterback in the league last season in red zone completion percentage, surely something the 6'6" TE Gathers could help improve.
Gathers may be a long way off from becoming Prescott's version of Witten to Tony Romo, but there is still hope for the 2016 draft pick, according to now football analyst Jason Witten.
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