The Dallas Cowboys finally worked out a six-year contract extension with Tony Romo worth $108 million. Romo received $55 million guaranteed and will probably finish his career as a Dallas Cowboy. No matter how strongly people agree or disagree with the move, the Cowboys needed to make make a decision regarding their polarizing quarterback. The Cowboys not only made a short-term decision by extending Romo, they also made a long-term decision.
If the Cowboys chose to ignore extending Romo, then he could have hit the open market in 2014. There are a lot of teams that are in the market for a quarterback, and there could be even more teams looking for one next year. Had Romo hit free agency, I'm sure a lot of teams would have shown some serious interest and we could have lost a very good quarterback.
It's not easy to replace a quarterback as talented as Romo. Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III aren't walking through that door in Valley Ranch. Romo is a talented quarterback who can make some amazing throws. Replacing that would have been a tedious process that the Cowboys aren't ready to go through again.
Romo's detractors largely blast the man for his lack of playoff success. But is the lack of playoff success the Cowboys have had really entirely his fault for? Romo has made some crucial mistakes, but he's also given this franchise everything he has and made some amazing plays for them. Not only has Romo kept his team in games, he's also kept the team relevant. Whether it's broken ribs or agonizing hits, Romo has shed sweat and blood for the Dallas Cowboys, and it's time for the franchise to give him more protection and weapons to work with.
Kurt Warner is another undrafted quarterback, but with a Super Bowl ring, and he believes the Cowboys must continue to build around Romo.
"I love Tony Romo. When you look at the National Football League, a lot of times we want to compare everybody to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and rightfully so because they’re the best in the business. But when I look at the quarterback position, I think you have to look at the entire league and put Tony Romo up against the rest of the league. Maybe outside of those four or five great quarterbacks because they’ve won championships or whatever and to me he's way above most guys starting in this league. What he brings to the table is his skill set, his competitiveness, and you saw it. Even down the stretch this past year, he played the position as well as anybody during that stretch. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to get over that hump or this team, I should say, hasn’t been able to get over the hump of winning in the playoffs and making a run, but I think he’s one of those unique talents at the position and you have to continue to build around him because you can’t win anything in the National Football League by yourself. The great quarterbacks always have great teams around them that help them win. I think they have to continue to build because Tony is an extreme talent. He’s a guy that knows how to win, he’s competitive and he’s a guy you want behind the center."
With Romo, the Cowboys have an opportunity to compete in every game, but until they provide him with a better offensive line then this team isn't going to reach the ultimate pinnacle of success, a Super Bowl win. By acquiring more talent and spending more draft picks on upgrading the offensive line, it would provide Romo with better pass protection and a more stable running game. When the Cowboys can actually run the football consistently, it provides them with a more balanced attack.
The Cowboys clearly need to provide their quarterback with a more stable offensive line. When Romo isn't running around for his life, he's shown he has the talent and ability to shred the opposing defense. The lack of the running attack has limited the ability to run more play-action passes. If the Cowboys can get better running the ball, it's going to help Romo unleash the deeper passes. Better pass protection should allow our receivers to run deeper routes, therefore creating larger plays.
While Romo does have Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and DeMarco Murray, the Cowboys can still add more firepower to this offense. Whether that comes in the form of another running back or wide receiver, it wouldn't be a waste of resources acquiring more weapons for Romo to work with. Tony Romo will always live in the shadow of Troy Aikman, much like Danny White lived in the shadow of Roger Staubach. If Romo gets more help, then it's possible that he will have playoff success and erase some of the criticism he has received over his career.
This team has finished 8-8 for two consecutive seasons. Both season finales came down to a win or go home scenario, so are the Cowboys really that far away from making a playoff run? With everything that has gone wrong that past two seasons, Dallas still had an opportunity to make the playoffs. If they can correct some of their issues and continue building around their quarterback, then it's really not crazy to believe they can put it all together and deliver a championship.