We might as well face it, until something definitive happens with Tony Romo, the speculation will continue unabated. There is no getting around it, it will be the story of the offseason until a conclusion is reached. Yesterday, we had some news if the ever-present “sources” are to be believed.
According To Jason La Canfora, Romo has four preferred destinations for his 2017 season.
Romo prefers to be moved to a contending team -- specifically, the Texans, Cardinals, Broncos or Chiefs. The Bills also have significant interest in Romo, team and league sources said, though they realize that it might be a tough sell. The Bills have not given up hope on retaining Tyrod Taylor on a lesser contract, too, though that might be wishful thinking on their part at this point.
Most people have the Broncos or the Texans pegged as the favorites, with the Chiefs a wild card since they have a decent quarterback in Alex Smith. The Cardinals would only come into play if Carson Palmer decides to hang it up. The Bills may have interest in Romo, but it’s unlikely that Romo would choose to go to a team that is still rebuilding. Then again, if the Bills blew Jerry Jones away with an offer, Romo might not have a choice.
And speaking of potential offers, La Cnfora paints a much rosier picture of what the Cowboys could possibly get than other reports.
Romo's market will be robust as well. The Chiefs have to make a determination on whether he, or any other option, would give them a better opportunity to win a Super Bowl than Alex Smith does. Smith has already played out the guaranteed portion of his contract. If so, Smith would be a trade-worthy commodity as well. While some reported the Cowboys might just let Romo walk, the demand for him should be such that Jerry Jones gets a strong return on his investment. Some GMs opined that the Cowboys would get a second-round pick, plus potentially another high pick based on Romo's playing time (injuries have dogged him in recent years).
A second-round pick plus another potentially high pick? Wow, that would be gold for the Cowboys.
Some Cowboys legends are weighing-in on what should happen with Romo. Michael Irvin offered up this.
"I hope he ends up in a place where they really have a shot at doing something," Irvin said. "I hope it's a place like a Denver. Right here (in Houston) wouldn't be bad for Tony. The team here is a pretty good team, probably a quarterback away. But whatever team takes Tony, let me tell you my two cents: Be smart enough to take him in his offense because you're paying for him shoulders up. You're not paying - you're not giving up what you're going to give up - for him shoulders down because you know the body is not what it used to be. So when you take Tony on, bring his offense so you can get the best Tony you know. You can use all his knowledge to get where he needs to be. I thought when (Denver) hired Vance Joseph and he's going to focus on the defense, ...I thought it'd be a great opportunity because he can go to Denver and implement his offense and in the next couple of years do some pretty good things with that talent and that defense."
When the Broncos took on Peyton Manning, they essentially took on the offense Manning liked to run. But that was a special case, I’m not sure any team would afford Romo the same latitude.
Emmitt Smith thinks Romo should stay put.
"I think he would be back because I think the Cowboys understand we need two quarterbacks - we need two solid quarterbacks. We went through the experience of having just one quarterback and that guy getting hurt and not having any quarterback, a revolving carousel door that revolved the whole entire year. The consistency of the offense and the organization was thrown to pieces.
Have we not learned something from that?
"Why not think you need a good solid backup quarterback? Why not have these two guys, one got us a veteran guy who can continue to nurture this young kid and bring him right along and in case something happens, his body's well-rested, well-healed and can still throw the football? Plus you got a guy already under contract so you don't have to restructure his deal for another year or two."
That’s a nice sentiment, but lost in that is the fact that Romo still wants to play, he still has the fire and he still believes he can perform at a high level. He’s not likely to be happy as a backup quarterback. There are also the financial considerations.
Mike Singletary echoes Emmitt.
"If I'm Tony Romo, I better stay here in Dallas," said Singletary, via The Dallas Morning News. "Let me put it this way: You're the backup, but that is the best job in the NFL if you're a backup on the Dallas Cowboys. I think they have one of the best lines, they've got a great running game."
And what about the desire of Romo to make a run at a Super Bowl as a starter?
"Sometimes you can't let your emotions put you in a situation where, I mean, when you see some of the hits that Tony Romo has taken, one hit the wrong way and he's not only a backup, he out of the game," said the 10-time pro bowler and Super Bowl XX winner.
Again, can anybody really see Romo content to be a backup quarterback?
Moving away from Romo, former Cowboy great Moose Johnston thinks he sees the Cowboys of today resembling the Cowboys of 1991. Just getting ready to make a run.
"I sense a little bit of that with this group. And it goes beyond what you're doing on the football field, it's also what's happening in the locker room. I think for this group the biggest thing is the locker room. And when I talked to all the guys who were there with us who are there with these guys in the equipment room, the training room and the equipment room, they start to say they're starting to show some of those signs of you guys from the intangible perspective.
"It's not a grind to be here. They enjoy coming to work, they enjoy the time they spend with each other. They do things away from the facility as groups with each other. So they're starting to build that chemistry and that bond that I think has to be there if you're going to have sustained success in the NFL. You might be able to patch it together and hold it together for one year and do something special, but if you're going to have sustained success, then you've got to take it to the next level. And it sounds like Dak and Zeke and that youthful energy that's come in has generated that feeling."
It’s one of those things that tends to get tossed aside in any serious football discussion, but the fun and exuberance Dak and Zeke have brought to this team has been special. I think it shook up an organization that needed a shot of adrenaline.
Don’t forget, this weekend Jerry Jones is likely to be voted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Let’s jump right into the biggest storyline of the weekend, at least as far as the Cowboys are concerned. I think it’s almost a certainty that Jerry Jones will be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend, and it’s an honor he unquestionably deserves.
The $5 billion industry that is the NFL’s TV deal? A product of Jones playing hardball with the networks back in the 90s. The modern sponsorship model, which allows each NFL club to sign its own endorsement deals, thereby increasing their own value? The result of Jones’ risky decision to file an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL.
The Cowboys were already “America’s Team” when Jerry Jones showed up, but it’s inarguable that their value and their visibility has grown exponentially since he arrived.
The same can be said for the NFL itself, which can thank Jones’ influence for many of its most important developments over the past 25 years – from TV rights, to marketing, to the oh-so-successful stadium model that has swept the league, headlined by the unmitigated success of AT&T Stadium.
It’s not just what he did off the field either. Yes, the Cowboys have been in a horrible playoff drought in terms of reaching and winning Super Bowls. But only the New England Patriots have won more Super Bowls than Jerry Jones’ Cowboys since he became the owner.
Speaking of marketing that Jerry would approve of, the Cowboys sold some merchandise this season.
The ascent of Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott from rookies to Pro Bowlers to the faces of the Dallas Cowboys has them operating near the top of the NFL’s licensing department.
According to the NFL Players Association, only New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady outpaced Elliott in total sales of all officially licensed NFL player merchandise from March 1 through Nov. 30, 2016. Prescott checked in at No. 8.
The Cowboys actually had five players inside the top 15. Dez Bryant checked in at No. 3 overall with Jason Witten at No. 13 and Tony Romo, who played only seven snaps during the season, coming in at No. 14.