I would like to take a second to talk about the man that has been on many people’s minds lately, Tony Romo. Since Dak Prescott took over the Dallas Cowboys in the preseason, a great number of people have been wondering what Romo’s fate would be. With the talent he possesses, we all knew that he wouldn’t end up staying in Dallas as a back-up, so where would he end up? Would he end up starting for a high-caliber team, or would he decide to retire so that he didn’t end up in the ER once again. Romo was expected to be released on Thursday, March 9th, but the Cowboys have decided to test the market and trade him. Though he remains a Cowboy, he sent his emotional farewell to Cowboys fans everywhere.
We play the waiting game now. The Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans are the two top landing spots for the veteran quarterback, but they have expressed their disinterest in wanting to trade for him. This is a tough situation because the Cowboys don’t want to release him just yet due to salary cap issues and his two potential bidders don’t want to trade for him for the same reasons because who wants to adopt a $14 million base salary other than the Cleveland Browns (more on that later!). If no teams trade for him and the Cowboys don’t release him, we may not find out what lies ahead for Romo until May 9th, where the Cowboys would get the most salary cap relief from his contract since they could designate it as a post-June 1st cut. This is a tricky rule in the NFL, but please reference the below section from the Collective Bargaining Agreement for more information:
*Article 13, Section 6 (b) (ii) Acceleration.
(1) For any player removed from the Team’s roster, or whose Contract is assigned to another Club via waivers or trade, on or before June 1 in any League Year prior to the Final League Year, or at any time during the Final League Year, any unamortized signing bonus amounts will be included in Team Salary for such League Year, except that for each League Year preceding the Final League Year, each Club may designate up to two Player Contracts that, if terminated on or prior to June 1 and if not renegotiated after the last regular season game of the prior League Year, shall be treated (except to the extent prescribed by Section 6(d) (iv) below) as if terminated on June 2, i.e., the Salary Cap charge for each such contract will remain in the Club’s Team Salary until June 2, at which time its Paragraph 5 Salary and any unearned LTBE incentives will no longer be counted and any unamortized signing bonus will be treated as set forth in Subsection (2) below. If acceleration puts a Team over the Salary Cap, the Team will have seven days to conform with the Salary Cap, but may not sign any players until there is Room to do so under the Salary Cap.
All that you need to know is that if the Cowboys wait until May 9th, then they can potentially save $14 million in cap space rather than the $5.1 million that they would if they released him any earlier.
Now, let’s get to the important part. There has been a lot of debate about what Tony Romo is truly worth. Is he just a mediocre quarterback that spends more time in the hospital than on the field or can he potentially bring your team to a Super Bowl? Many have lost their faith in Romo and say that there is a very minuscule chance of him leading you to the Super Bowl, but I beg to differ. It all, obviously, depends on what team he ends up with. You can’t send him to the Cleveland Browns and expect him to be a superstar. I quite frankly don’t think that you can even send Tom Brady to the Browns and expect him to turn that franchise around, but we’re all entitled to our opinions.
Out of the teams that have shown interest in him though, I think that he has a great chance of finding success. If you put Romo into a system with a mediocre offensive line and one or maybe two weapons that he could work with, I believe that he will find success and the teams that have shown the greatest interest in him possess just that. Those teams include the Broncos, the Texans, and I’ll even throw the New York Jets in there if things don’t work out with Trevor Siemian or Jay Cutler. Let’s take a look at how these teams look as potential destinations for Romo.
The Houston Texans, in my opinion, would be the best fit for Romo. He’ll be able to work with a big name wide-receiver like DeAndre Hopkins with a solid running back like Lamar Miller supporting him in the backfield. Their offensive line isn’t anything special, ranked #16 by Pro Football Focus, but they were good enough to get Miller to a 1,000-yard season in the 14 games that he played in 2016. The Texans also have the defense to back their offensive efforts which will give any quarterback a sense of security going into a game. Just think about what they did this year with a below average QB like Brock Osweiler. Romo is light-years ahead of Osweiler talent-wise, so just imagine how far he could take the team. A decent quarterback is all this team needs to be a true Super Bowl contender. And the Texans obviously aren’t shy to spend money on quarterbacks, so even better for Romo. Plus he wouldn’t have to move far from home, since he’s already in Dallas. Logically, Romo to the Texans just makes sense.
The Denver Broncos are a close second. The defense, which is equal to if not better than the Texans, is there to back him and Romo would be able to utilize playmakers like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders who would have been more successful if they had a better quarterback behind center. Not to discredit Siemian, but he needs more experience in the league. He is mediocre at best. With Romo on this roster, they would turn back into that Super Bowl contending team rather than the team that missed the playoffs this year. Their offensive line is their only fault. I believe that Romo going to Denver is more likely than him going to Houston, but I still like the Texans more for him.
Finally, the New York Jets. They have had quarterback issues for so long. That is evident because the last solid quarterback to bring them to the playoffs was Mark Sanchez, so it’s been awhile. They are another team that I’d consider a top-15 defense in the league. Unfortunately, they have less to work with offensively. They have one obvious playmaker in Eric Decker and a slowly deteriorating Matt Forte and that’s just about it. Their offensive line hasn’t been fantastic. The Jets wouldn’t become a Super Bowl contending team, maybe a playoff team at the very best. The pairing of Romo with the Jets really only makes sense because the Jets are in desperate need of a quarterback.
So what is Tony Romo worth? A lot if you ask me.
Romo is a talented quarterback and I feel like many people have forgotten that since he hasn’t been on the field in quite a while. In his career, he’s thrown 248 touchdowns and 117 interceptions with a completion percentage of 65.3%. If he can stay healthy, I think he’ll prove people wrong and return to his status as an elite quarterback. Just you wait!