His salary cap numbers as a member of the Dallas Cowboys for the next four years are north of $20 million. He has experienced two back surgeries in the last three seasons. He just turned 35.
And with all that… Antonio Ramiro Romo is a bargain.
That’s right. Tony Romo, by NFL standards, is a bargain for the Cowboys.
Over the last two weeks, the Miami Dolphins handed out a four-year extension to their quarterback Ryan Tannehill worth $77 million with $21.5M guaranteed. Now comes word that the Carolina Panthers are set to break the bank to re-up their quarterback Cam Newton.
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Reports indicate that Newton’s deal will likely cost the Panthers around $21 million per season and will run through the year 2020.
Yep, we’re talking about that same Cam Newton who has lost more games (31) than he’s won (30) a starting quarterback and has a losing record in the playoffs (1-2).
That one win was opposite Arizona Cardinals “starter” Ryan Lindley where Cam completed less than 60% of his passes and threw for less than 200 yards and somehow was the better quarterback in the matchup.
That same Newton is somehow responsible for a losing record in both the regular and post season despite a defense that’s finished in the top 10 in yards allowed three straight years including second overall in 2013.
The next time Romo’s defense finishes in the top two will be the first by the way.
Newton’s two postseason losses have come at the hands of youngsters Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. Romo’s postseason losses have been served by the best quarterback currently in the game (Aaron Rodgers) and one of the best ever to do it (Brett Favre).
If you’re wondering why I am not bringing up Tannehill’s postseason accolades, that’s because there aren’t any. In three seasons as the leader of the Fins, Mr. Tannehill has not made a playoff game largely because he has failed to produce a winning record yet.
That little fact did not stop their organization from pulling up the Brinks truck for him and tying up the following numbers on their cap ledger. $17.9 million in 2017, $17.4M in 2018, $18.7M in 2019 and $19.5M in 2020.
All for 23 wins and 25 losses.
I get it. Tannehill and Newton are both young (26 and 27 respectively). These deals will both represent the second contracts that they received from their teams and quarterback money is astronomical in general, so it’s not all that bad.
The facts are that neither quarterback should be near the financial stratosphere that Romo resides. This is when it becomes evident that the Cowboys are getting the deserved bang for their buck.
Consider that Romo is just the 10th highest paid quarterback based on his average per year salary. Guys such as Matt Ryan, Tannehill, Kaepernick and Jay Cutler all make more than Romo on average. Aside from Kaepernick, Romo the same amount of playoff wins as all the others combined.
Remember that Romo’s guaranteed money per year ranks seventh on the list behind other guys such as Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, Ryan and new Eagles signal-caller Sam Bradford. The combined win/loss records for those three? 119-116-1 in the regular season and 1-6 in the playoffs.
I continue to bring up the wins and the losses for a reason. Any time someone wants to tell you that Romo is over paid, you can let them know that Romo is one of only two current quarterbacks with a career completion percentage over 60%, who has also won 60% or more of his starts and has had 10 or less interceptions in five of the last six years.
The other guy (Rodgers) is the highest paid quarterback in the game in regards to total guaranteed money and average per year salary.
With other young guns such as Andrew Luck in Indianapolis and Russell Wilson in Seattle on the verge of getting more money than Newton and Tannehill are getting, the bargain for Romo will continue to increase.
With the obvious consistency that the Cowboys get from Romo, the only concerns would be related to his age and history of injury. Those of course can be quelled by remembering that while Romo is 35, his first three seasons in the NFL saw him only play in 10 games, all in that third season.
As for the injuries, it’s clear that the Cowboys have gone above and beyond to build the best offensive line in all of football. Yes, the second coming of the “Great Wall of Dallas” can be breached but it’s becoming increasingly rare. The number of sacks and pass attempts have gone down over the last two years, reducing the risk of catastrophe.
Honestly, if the Cowboys can get three more healthy seasons out of Romo and discontinue the annual practice of restructuring his deal, the dead money cap hit reduces down to just $8.9M in 2018 and $3.2M in 2019.
Any way you want to look at it, Tony Romo‘s deal is a huge bargain to the suddenly fiscally responsible Dallas Cowboys.
With that, the future looks pretty good.