Ed Werder from ESPN has recently reported that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants to start negotiations with quarterback Tony Romo on a contract extension. That report can be read here.
Tony Romo’s current contract is set to expire next year if he remains on the team through the end of the 2013 season. There is a clause in his contract that states he would be under contract from 2014-2016, if he is ever traded. Those years are voidable if he remains with the Cowboys through 2013. This year, Romo’s salary is 8 million, which is quite a bargain. Next year his salary balloons to 16 million.
Recently, Houston’s quarterback Matt Schaub received a contract extension of 4 years, 62 million. That averages out a little over 15 million per year. In the offseason, quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Drew Brees received contracts that averaged out to approximately 20 million per year. If Tony Romo was to receive a new contract extension, it would probably be between Schaub’s contract and Manning/Brees’ contracts. I say it could fall somewhere in the neighborhood of a 4 year/70 million dollar extension through 2017. This averages out to 17.5 million per year.
There are many reasons why Jerry Jones needs to lock up Romo with a contract extension. One is that great quarterbacks are hard to find. Romo has had many ups and downs in his career. Early in the season last year, Romo had monumental breakdowns against the New York Jets and the Detroit Lions. But he bounced back from those games and had his best statistical season of his career with a quarterback rating of 102.5.
The second reason why Jones needs to do this, is that with every great game that Romo has, Romo gains more leverage in contract negotiations. Thus, the more money Romo is going to want to be paid. His price will only continue to go up if Romo takes the Cowboys deep into the playoffs.
Thirdly, Jones is probably feeling some pressure in doing the contract now, before the Balitmore Ravens extend Joe Flacco’s contract. Although Flacco does not compare to Romo in passing statistics, Flacco is much younger, he has a much better winning percentage and has more playoff wins than Romo. If it wasn’t for a dropped touchdown pass in last year’s championship game, the Ravens would have been in the Super Bowl. So there is a chance the Ravens could sign Flacco to a contract that is closer to Manning’s and Brees’ contracts, which would mean that Jerry Jones has to sign Romo to a more expensive contract. Jones probably does not want Baltimore to dictate what he pays Romo.
The debate whether Romo should be considered and paid like an elite quarterback can be one of the most intense debates between NFL experts. But with no other free agent options, and no young and up coming quarterback on the Cowboys depth chart, it is Tony Romo who gives this team the best chance to get them to the Super Bowl in the future. This is why Jerry Jones needs to pay this man!