Cowboys, Romo agree on 6-year, $108M extension

Tony Romo has a chance to start for the Dallas Cowboys longer
than Roger Staubach or Troy Aikman. The question is whether he will
ever match their Super Bowl pedigrees.

Romo signed a six-year contract extension worth $108 million
Friday, with about half of that guaranteed to make him the
highest-paid player in franchise history.

The agreement, reported on the team’s website, will lower the
quarterback’s salary cap number for 2013 by about $5 million,
giving the team more room to sign free agents and draft picks.

Romo, who turns 33 next month and was entering the final year of
his contract, gets $55 million guaranteed.

Super Bowl winner Joe Flacco got $52 million guaranteed in the
six-year, $120.6 million contract he signed with Baltimore earlier
this month.

”I think it’s just exciting more than anything that you know
you’re going to be here the rest of my career,” Romo said in a
video on the team’s website that showed owner Jerry Jones
exchanging high-fives with Romo’s nearly 1-year-old son. ”We’re a
team on the rise and I think it’s going to show here going
forward.”

Romo could be with Dallas through 2019, giving him a chance to
be the starter longer than the 11 seasons of Aikman and seven of
Staubach, who was a part-time starter his first four years with the
Cowboys.

Aikman and Staubach won five Super Bowls between them, while
Romo has just one playoff win in six full seasons as the starter.
He had a gut-wrenching playoff loss the year he took over midseason
in 2006, flubbing the hold after driving the Cowboys into position
for the go-ahead field goal in the final minutes.

Romo alluded to changes ”behind the scenes” in the interview
on the team’s website, and Jones said in a statement that his
quarterback will have ”a significant level of input and
contribution to the planning and implementing of our offensive
approach – both in the meeting room and on the field.”

”Tony is uniquely qualified to lead this team at the
quarterback position for the next several years,” Jones said. ”He
knows how to run an offense and run a team.”

Romo lost playoff-or-bust games in regular-season finales the
past two years. That included a loss to Washington last season when
Romo threw an interception with a chance to tie or win the game
with a drive in the final 3 minutes.

A former Romo rival, Donovan McNabb, questioned the deal on
Twitter.

”Wow really, with one playoff win,” McNabb wrote. ”You got to
be kidding me.”

Dez Bryant, who teamed with Romo for career highs of 1,382
receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012, tweeted, ”Congrats Big
Tony on the contract extension.”

Romo is the franchise leader in touchdown passes and the
single-season leader in touchdowns, passing yards, completions and
attempts. He had a career-high 4,903 passing yards in 2012 but
matched his highest interception total at 19 and had his lowest
quarterback rating at 90.5 rating.

His best rating of 102.5 came in 2011, when the Cowboys lost to
the New York Giants with a playoff berth on the line in the finale.
His other best season was 2009, which included his only playoff win
against Philadelphia.