Dec 23, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws in the pocket against the New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Begin Negotiating With Tony Romo


The Dallas Cowboys think they have a franchise quarterback in Tony Romo no matter what fans think. Troy Aikman has come out time and time again publicly to support Tony Romo. Nevertheless he is the best option the Cowboys have at the moment.

And as much of a motivation it is to resign a franchise quarterback, there are other motives as well. The Cowboys are over the cap and desperately need to get under the cap. By re-signing Tony Romo the Cowboys could accomplish that goal. He is set to count for $16.8 million against the cap in 2013.

“We have a great quarterback and he deserves to be paid,’’ Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.  “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.’’

His deal can’t be restructured since there is only one year left on it. In order to restructure his 2013 season, he’d need a contract extension.

“I think on this particular situation with Tony is we think we have a great quarterback and we want him to be our quarterback here for the next four to five years,” Jones said.  “When you have a good one and you’re fortunate enough to have a good one, then he’s going to take up the biggest part of your cap space, so you have to be partners with one another and you have to do things.  No one wants to win more, no one wants to have success more than Tony.  He knows in order to do that we have to manage our cap and he plays a big part in that because the percentage of the cap that he takes.’’

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk breaks down the leverage situation between the two parties. And to me it’s an interesting situation to see if Romo is a team first guy or wallet first guy:

When the Cowboys wanted to talk contract during the 2012 season, Romo’s reps resisted, sensing that the team simply wanted to buy low.  And the Cowboys may still try to low ball Romo, whose leverage increases with the jump in his cap number.

If Romo is willing to shoulder the risk of injury, he can ride out the final year of his deal, forcing the Cowboys to use the franchise tag in 2014.  Based on his 2013 cap number, it would cost the Cowboys $20.16 million to keep him next season.

For that reason, Romo should be seeking a minimum guaranteed payment of $36.96 million, which is the sum of what he’ll make over the next two seasons.

Adding a third season to that package, and Romo’s pay for 2015 under the franchise tag would be $24.192 million.  That pushes his three-year haul to more than $61 million.

It looks like Tony Romo is thinking about the team according to Jones.

“He wants good players around him and we want to put great players around him,’’ Jones says. “And that’s what we intend to do.”

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