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Tony Romo discusses the 2016 season that ended his career, and how he once played hardball with Bill Parcells

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Tony Romo talks the end of his career, and the beginning.

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

It truly is amazing how fast time tends to fly. These days the biggest argument among fans of the Dallas Cowboys is whether or not the team’s quarterback deserves a contract putting him among the highest-paid at the position. Feels like only yesterday, doesn’t it?

Obviously in 2020 we’re talking about Dak Prescott, but many BTBers have typed thousands of words in defense of a quarterback before, such is life with the Cowboys. Tony Romo was once criticized the same way that Dak Prescott currently is. Being the quarterback for this team is hardly easy.

As you are well-aware, Romo lost his starting spot to Dak Prescott during the 2016 season due to a series of unpredictable events. We all know that story, but Romo was asked to re-tell it to a degree in a recent sit down with Graham Bensinger. He addresses finding out that he would no longer be the Cowboys long-term starter at the 3:25 mark.

It was after the Cowboys thrilling victory on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers that the decision was fully made to move forward with Dak Prescott and Romo’s “football is a meritocracy” speech shortly followed. In this clip, Tony talks about how every person obviously wants to be a big reason for their team’s success, but that football is ultimately a team game.

Sports are inherently based on competition which exists on multiple levels. Nobody foresaw what the Cowboys were going to have to deal with between Dak Prescott and Tony Romo, and it’s amazing that just four years later Romo has risen to the top of an entirely different profession. He got paid and Dak Prescott could too in the near future.

Speaking of getting paid, Romo also discussed a contract he negotiated early in his career.

Romo then offered an example of a contract he would talk about: The one he signed with the Cowboys before the 2006 season. At that point, Romo had been with the Cowboys for three years but had never thrown a pass in a regular-season game. The Cowboys thought they could get Romo to sign an extension for a $500,000 signing bonus, but Romo demanded a $2 million signing bonus and got it.

“Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells sit me down right before a preseason game,” Romo recalled. “They’re like, ‘We need you to sign this deal for $500,000.’ I’m making the league minimum, $250,000 or so. I told them, ‘The only way you’ll play me is if you have something invested in me that makes you want to see if I’m worth it.’ I told them $2 million. ‘For that, I feel like you’ll want to put me in a game to see.’ Believe me, I didn’t want to do it. It was as nerve-wracking a situation as I’ve ever been in.”

Romo said that Jones and Parcells agreed, and he got his $2 million signing bonus.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh I’m the richest guy in the world. I just got $2 million,’” Romo said.

Romo learned years later that Jones and Parcells were impressed with his moxie, and liked that he was willing to stand up for himself and demand what he thought he was worth. Romo remembered that lesson this year, and demanded that CBS pay him what he’s worth as well.

Ha, maybe Romo should be an agent, too.