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Tony Romo’s Fate Still Adrift; What’s Next for Cowboys, Romo?

Bryson Treece

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Tony Romo's Fate Still Adrift; What's Next for Cowboys, Romo?

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.



Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Travis Diggs

    March 24, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    And the saga continues ….Are we more interested in building for the future or how Romo’s two playoffs wins are remembered This off-season has become frustrating to watch Jerry so wrapped up in Romo it’s sickening. I’m just another stressed out cowboys fan Wondering what’s going on

  2. John Williams

    John Williams

    March 30, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Really wish they would resolve this. It isn’t a distraction to the team, but I just think it’s time to make something happen. Jerry just said he would like a resolution by training camp. By training camp is a long time away now.

    I still don’t get what Houston is waiting for. Denver, I can understand, they invested a first round pick in Paxton Lynch last year and need to see if he can win a job. Houston on the other hand doesn’t have anything invested in Savage. Time to make a move and quit playing game.s

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Cowboys Offseason: Landon Collins Cleaned Out Locker, Set to be FA

John Williams

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Cowboys Headlines - #DALvsNYG: Dealing With Giants Safety Landon Collins

It's no secret that the Dallas Cowboys are heading into the 2019 offseason looking to upgrade at the safety position on a defense that finished inside the top 10 in 2018. With much of the focus on Earl Thomas, New York Giants Safety Landon Collins has become the center of attention in the last couple of days.

Per a report by Josina Anderson, Collins cleaned out his locker on Wednesday as he gets ready to go into free agency for the first time.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

I'm told that Giants S Landon Collins cleaned out his locker today at the team facility and said his goodbyes to teammates, coaches and trainers. It doesn't seem like Collins expects to be a Giant for much longer, per sources.

After Paul Schwartz attempted to assert that there was no claim to the report...

Paul Schwartz on Twitter

Attention those who care about the New York Giants: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Repeat: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Go about your business and have a nice day.

And Landon Collins had this to say...

https://twitter.com/TheHumble_21/status/1098315997839265792

If cleaning out a locker is any kind of evidence, then Collins is prepared to hit the market when free agency opens on March 13th. He joins a loaded safety group that includes Thomas, Houston Texans Safety Tyrann Mathieu, Los Angeles Rams Safety LaMarcus Joyner, Glover Quin of the Detroit Lions, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix formerly of the Green Bay Packers, but most recently of the Washington Redskins, and several others who could find new homes this offseason.

The Cowboys are very familiar with Landon Collins, as they've seen him nearly twice a year over the last four years. The three time Pro Bowler was one of the best players on the Giants defense. They would line him up in the box and at time use him to cover Cole Beasley.

Collins ranked first in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus in run stop percentage at 7.2%. Meaning on running snaps, he made a tackle that rendered the running play ineffective 7.2% of the time.For further reference, Jeff Heath made a run stop on 4.2% of his run plays, which was 15th in the NFL among safeties.

The only positions to have more of an impact on the running game were linebackers and the defensive line. Even if you include linebackers, his run stop percentage was 31st in the NFL. Leighton Vander Esch led the Dallas Cowboys with a run stop percentage of 11.3%, which was third among linebackers. Collins number nearly matched the run stop percentage of Jaylon Smith at 7.6%.

Add Collins to a defense that stops the run as well as the Dallas Cowboys did last season and you take your team to another level against the run.

Landon Collins will probably get the most money this offseason. He's only 25 and has had success in the NFL. Many teams will be reaching out to Collins when free agency opens and the Dallas Cowboys should certainly be one of those teams. Collins would be an excellent addition to the Dallas Cowboys defense and would allow Xavier Woods to stay in his role as the free safety.

We're just under three weeks away from the start of NFL free agency and the drama will only get bigger as the Cowboys look to add to their team.



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Report: Free Agent DL David Irving Not in Dallas Cowboys’ 2019 Plans

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

The Dallas Cowboys and troubled Defensive Lineman David Irving appear to be at an impasse. According to a report from David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the team has "no intention" of trying to re-sign Irving and will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Irving started the 2018 season with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He only appeared in two games after that, registering one sack and four tackles.

David Moore on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have no intention of keeping DT David Irving at this time https://t.co/vqMNZty6Aq via @sportsdaydfw

Despite reports of David's ongoing issues with an ankle injury, Dallas never placed him on injured reserve. Then came the reports that Irving was missing practices and team meetings while dealing with personal issues related to the custody of his daughter.

The team stayed pretty mum on the subject of Irving's status throughout the year, falling back on the ankle injury when pushed. But after months, it became clear that either David, the team, or both parties were disinterested in his return to football.

The Cowboys had high hopes after 2017, when Irving posted seven sacks in just eight games. They placed a second-round tender on him last offseason as a restricted free agent and were surely ready to give him a long-term deal if he'd built on that success.

But David's issues, physical or otherwise, have clearly done the opposite.

Dallas is known for working with troubled players, as we've recently seen with Randy Gregory. That they're closing the book on Irving suggests there's an issue with his desire towards football.

It's a sad loss for both. David's potential is enormous, as evidenced by his productivity when he actually does play. But he appears more likely to hit the Commissioner's exempt list in 2019 than the football field, given the reports of multiple failed drug tests over the last year.

Hopefully David Irving can turn things around one day and capitalize on his talent. But if it ever happens, it appears that it won't be with the Dallas Cowboys.



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BREAKING: WR Terrance Williams Gets Dropped by Dallas Cowboys

Jess Haynie

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Takeaway Tuesday: What We Learned From Cowboys Loss To Packers
AP Photo/Ron Jenkins

The Dallas Cowboys have ended their six-year relationship with Wide Receiver Terrance Williams. According to multiple sources, they have declined a team option on Williams' contract and he will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

The move will reportedly save the Cowboys $2.25 million in salary space this year.

Williams was the team's third-round pick in 2013 and started 68 of the 83 games he played in. He developed into a solid number-two receiver by the end of his rookie deal in 2016 and was given a new four-year contract that offseason.

David Moore on Twitter

Terrance Williams career w/ the Cowboys is done. Sources say the club has declined the WR's option for 2019, making him a free agent. The move is no surprise. He caught just 2 passes for 18 yards last season. His departure frees up $2.25 million on the cap.

After another decent year in 2017, things took a bad turn for Terrance last season. It started with an offseason arrest for public intoxication that eventually led to a three-game suspension, although Williams served that while on injured reserve.

The Cowboys already appeared to be giving Williams' spot away when they made several offseason acquisitions at WR; Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin all were brought in even before Terrance's arrest.

While Williams did start in two of Dallas' first three games in 2018, he only had three passes his thrown his way. The team finally put him on IR due to ongoing complications with a surgically-repaired foot.

While it didn't end well, Terrance Williams' time in Dallas was ultimately a solid return for a third-round pick. He made a few big plays and was a proficient run-blocker, good enough to start in almost 75% of the team's games since he was drafted.

The Cowboys now hope that another third-round pick, Michael Gallup in 2018, will do bigger and better things.



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