So is the new contract the Dallas Cowboys intend on giving quarterback Tony Romo a reward? Or a matter of cap math?
As Deion Sanders used to say in those pizza commercials … “Both.”
On Wednesday, the Cowboys opened discussions with representatives for Romo on what might be a three- or four-year extension of his contract, team vice president Stephen Jones tells Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan.
“We have a great quarterback and he deserves to be paid,” says Jones, characterizing the initial talks as “informal.” “We have a good quarterback and we want to reward him. He’s in the last year of a contract and our goal is to not let the quarterback run out of contract.”
That might be the wise way for a team executive to frame a large new deal.
But on Friday, coach Jason Garrett was honest about the other looming issue here.
“There’s math involved in this deal,” Garrett said, speaking from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “Everyone has to get under the cap and a number of teams are making these types of decisions, so we do have an opportunity to restructure Tony’s contract and we believe very strongly in Tony Romo as our quarterback. So we need to make sure we get that business done to help our football team be as good as it could be. We do have to address some things with personnel and freeing up some of that money will allow us to do that.”
Dallas would like to move quickly on such a deal so it can make other moves and do some shopping even though the club is currently $20 million over the cap. An extension for Romo – who is entering the final year of his contract and is set to make $11.5 million and count $16.8 million against the cap in 2013 – helps give the club room to do so.
But in addition to the “math involved,” Garrett is also a believer in Romo’s future, even as the QB is about to turn 33 in April.
“He’s been a starter for six years and he has a lot of football in front of him,” Garrett said. “You see no signs of him getting old as a player. We feel good about him for a long time to come.”