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Tony Romo: From $10,000 to $67.5 million

The Dallas Cowboys are now back in the franchise QB business. After what seems like an eternity, there is no longer any question who will be lining up under center for the Dallas Cowboys, not just for a season, but for the foreseeable future. The Cowboys franchise went from Don Meredith, to Roger Staubach, to Danny White, to Troy Aikman with very little interruption in between. That run of good planning and good luck was brought to a screeching halt with the retirement of Aikman. The Cowboys stumbled by over-reaching in the draft, by making bad character choices, by trying to get baseball player’s on the cheap, and by hiring guys who were past their prime. All that ends with the agreement to a six-year, $67.5 million deal between Tony Romo and Jerry Jones.

Jerry told us that a deal would get done and he was true to his word. He told us that he wanted to see a little more of Romo this season before ironing out the terms, and he was true to his word. Jerry got this done with relative ease, there were no veiled threats, or harsh words, or bargaining practices that might leave some hurt feelings, there was no need to even think about using the franchise tag at the end of the year. The new Jerry Jones continues his wise management of the Cowboys that started with the hiring of Parcells, and continued with the revamping of the scouting staff, the accumulation of good young talent, the re-signing of that talent when needed, and finally with the hiring of Wade Phillips and Jason Garrett. Now, Jones has locked up the centerpiece of this Cowboys team at what looks to be very reasonable rates.

Forget about the QB position now for the Dallas Cowboys. No need to look at free agency, or worry about drafting anybody, in fact, if everything works out, we won’t be hearing about contracts and the QB position for at least four or five years down the road. And most of all we can forget about the recent past, and know that our QB of the future is Quincy Carter Chad Hutchinson Drew Henson Clint Stoerner Tony Banks Ryan Leaf Anthony Wright Vinny Testaverde Drew Bledsoe Tony Romo.

Here’s what Romo said tonight on a radio show.

"We're just in talks right now," Romo said Monday night on The Cowboys Hour, a weekly radio show on the team's flagship station (KTCK-AM 1310). "We're a lot closer than we've been. There definitely looks like there's a bright future. I'm definitely optimistic. It's a great feeling you have when the organization stands behind you and eventually sign a contract and be the starting quarterback for a long time."

So it’s not officially done yet, but the DMN has three sources saying it’s a done deal.

The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a contract extension with quarterback Tony Romo, three sources said. A source close to Romo confirmed that the deal was for six years and $67.5 million, with $30 million guaranteed and including an $11.5 million signing bonus.

The DFW S-T breaks down the money this way.

The deal includes $30 million in guaranteed money in the first three years. He will receive an $11.5 million signing bonus and $4.5 million will be added to his 2007 deal to give him a $6 million base salary this season.

Here’s what a few teammates had to say.

"It's a sense of relief that he's got it out of the way," center Andre Gurode said. "Now he can move on with the season. I'm happy he's going to be here for a long time."

Cowboys Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten has been Romo's closest friend on the team since the two entered the league in 2003.

"He signed for $10,000 and his chances were slim," Witten said. "I told my wife that if anyone deserves that type of money, it's Tony."

"He's the future of the team," [Akin] Ayodele said. "To have him signed, that's important because you want to establish your quarterback who is going to lead you through things and win you championships."

This is a good time to be a Cowboys fan. I leave you with this:

Price of a Carrie Underwood CD: $14.95
Price to sign Tony Romo in 2003: $10,000
Price of a franchise QB: $67.5 million
Winning a Super Bowl: Priceless

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