A new twist in the Romo saga? NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington tweeted on Friday that "Romo believes it’s Texans or retirement for 2017." But that retirement may be a more serious option than many people realize, especially now that two networks are making a push for Romo's services.
This and more in today's summary of the latest Cowboys headlines.
NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington reports the choice is down to the Texans or retirement for the Tony Romo.
I had some talks about Romo today. Broncos haven’t closed door but not pursuing. I’m told Romo believes it’s Texans or retirement for 2017.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) March 24, 2017
Houston is Romo’s preferred landing spot, and a league source said earlier this month that Houston owner Bob McNair is high on bringing Romo to the Texans, and the team would be willing to trade a mid-round pick to Dallas – provided Romo would agree to a new contract.
But one thing that could be influencing Romo’s idea of retiring: television. Fox and CBS are apparently making a strong push to lure the four-time Pro Bowler to a new career as a broadcaster, according to a Friday tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
It's not just FOX in pursuit of Cowboys QB Tony Romo; it's also CBS making a strong push to add him to its team, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 24, 2017
There may not be much of a competition between NFL teams for Romo at the moment, but competition for his services may be heating up between TV networks.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, in addition to Fox Sports showing interest, CBS is "making a strong push" to bring Romo to its NFL coverage team. Schefter previously reported Fox Sports was pursuing Romo as a replacement for John Lynch, who left the network to take over as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, but Romo's goal is to continue his NFL career.
Texans fans are busy watching the chimney at Tony Romo’s house, praying for a glimpse of white smoke.
Look here, friends. I hope Tony Romo is the starting quarterback for our Houston Texans in 2017 (and I feel extremely dirty typing that, but that’s what QB THIRST has reduced me to).
I also hope a day is coming, very soon, where I can stop posting entries where we dissect every morsel of conjecture about Romo’s future.
Romo may get one or two more years playing for the Texans, but a media career will last much longer, and is something that Romo has got to strongly consider.
[Romo] also needs to recognize this situation from a business perspective: Like the Cowboys with his playing rights, Romo may never have more leverage than now with his broadcast career.
He's a hot commodity, and now is the time of year when TV partners are figuring out the details for their football coverage. NFL Network will always have a seat open for a guy like Romo, but they wouldn't be able to afford him right now. That's because Fox and CBS, simply by inserting themselves into his peripheral, are clearly saying they will give him a big-enough role and salary to make it worth giving up on playing (for at least a year).
Broadcast gigs aren't short-term, though. Sure, if the Cowboys release him, Romo could end up helping the Texans make an AFC championship or even beyond that. But he has at best five years left as an NFL player - assuming no more injuries. If he's good at being a studio analyst and enjoys it, he could turn that into a 20-plus-year gig.
The Cowboys continue their to be active in free agency long after the excitement about free agency has died down, and plug another roster hole with the Bell signing.
Bell’s signing seems to be in response to the expected retirement of right tackle Doug Free, and the uncertainty about the health of Chaz Green going forward. He has played both tackle and guard in his career, giving him the position flexibility that the Cowboys like.
The Cowboys like to fill holes in free agency to free themselves up when it comes time for the draft. This is a perfect example of acquiring pieces that allow for flexibility in their strategy moving forward.
Jon Machota recently answered reader questions in a live chat and appears to be bullish on Moore.
Q: Which of the free agents the Cowboys have signed do you see the most promise in?
Machota: I think Damontre Moore has the most upside. He's only 24 and he has great size for a 4-3 defensive end (6-5, 250). He's a local kid playing for the hometown team. Maybe that gets something to click, propelling him to take his game to the next level. He had a 5.5-sack season for the Giants three years ago. Maybe Rod Marinelli can tap into some of that potential. He was a 12.5-sack guy his last year at Texas A&M. The potential is there, but will he consistently display it on a weekly basis? If so, the Cowboys got a steal.
Gathers has big plans for 2017.
"I felt like toward the end of the year I was ready to be on the roster, and I felt like I should have been on the roster. This year is the year to come out and take over and show Rico Gathers is the heir apparent to Jason Witten. That’s how I feel, honestly."
"I went from a person who was completely oblivious about a situation to a person who feels like an animal," Gathers said. "I feel like I’ve come into my own over the past year with my development from blocking to route running to making those athletic plays that you see on Sunday."
The Cowboys will tell you they like Gathers, but they’re cautious with their projections because he’s so young. At worst, he’ll be a role player. At best, he could be a star.
Asked whether the Cowboys will draft for need or draft the best player available, Archer patiently explains that there is no such thing as a pure BPA approach, and suggests the Cowboys will lean heavily towards the defense in this draft.
This is a question that gets asked every year and you have people who will say, "You always draft best player available." Well, I'm not one of those guys. Need has to be a factor in drafting players. It just has to. Now teams have to set their draft boards up with "the best player available" theory, but I don't believe they must follow that edict.
There's too much gray regarding the draft to speak in absolutes, like always and never.
To me, if the Cowboys are on the clock in the first round and a receiver has a grade that is a tick better than the defensive end, I'm going with the defensive end. If there is a substantial gap in the grades, then I'll go with the best player in that case. With where the Cowboys are now in the state of their roster, anything close to a tie would have to go to the defensive side of the ball. Best player available is a great theory, but I just don't think it is always practical.
In a recent live chat with readers, Jon Machota explains why he thinks Harris should be the Cowboys' number one target.
I don't know if Harris will necessarily fall that far, but if he does, he makes the most sense. Cornerback is arguably the deepest position in this class. If it wasn't, I might have gone Kevin King, the 6-3 CB out of Washington, here. Missouri has been a great source for defensive linemen recently. In the last six drafts, the Tigers have had Aldon Smith, Sheldon Richardson, Kony Ealy, Markus Golden and Shane Ray drafted in the first two rounds. The last three -- Ray, Golden and Ealy -- combined for 25.5 sacks last season. Harris is regarded by many experts as one of the top five 4-3 defensive ends in this class. He's the type of player the Cowboys could start Day 1 and get immediate production rushing opposite of DeMarcus Lawrence.
Archer writes that compensatory draft picks aren't exactly sexy, but that the Cowboys have done well with these day three picks in the last few years.
[Free agency departures] should net the Cowboys up to four compensatory picks next season, with Leary potentially bringing a fourth-rounder and the others looking at fifth-round or later projections.
Over the past three years, however, Will McClay, the Cowboys' senior director of college and pro personnel, has been able to pluck five starting-type players from the draft's third day. That is what turns a good team into a really good team.
It might not bring the immediate gratification everybody wants in 2017, but if the Cowboys play it the right way they can help their long-term success.