Tony Romo: Should Dallas Cowboys Extend Their Star Quarterback?

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIJune 15, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 01:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys drops back to pass against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Tony Romo is more crucial to the success of the Dallas Cowboys than any other player. Whether the Cowboys can win often depends on whether Romo is healthy and in tune with the action.

With that said, the Cowboys are approaching the time when they need to look at getting him re-upped for another few years.

Romo had been contracted to play with the Cowboys through 2016. However, after the Cowboys restructured his contract last season, the last three years of his contract were lopped off. Also, it made his 2013 salary cap hit a whopping $16.8 million.

Whether Jerry Jones will look closely at the issue this offseason is unclear. When asked by ESPN Dallas-Fort Worth, he declined to discuss the matter.

However, Jones did say that he wants to have Romo on the team for some time.

"I want Tony Romo on this team. In my mind, he's the best he's ever been. I think he's very capable of winning a Super Bowl. I don't have any thought of him not being here," the Cowboys owner and general manager said.

No one can deny that Romo has been the best he's ever been, as Jones said. Romo had career bests in touchdown-to-interception ratio (31-10), completion rate for a full season (66.3 percent) and quarterback rating (102.5).

Romo overcame a couple of poor performances to have some amazing games. A week after blowing the 2011 season opener against the New York Jets, Romo rallied the Cowboys to victory after suffering a punctured lung and a broken rib. He had a 23-of-26 and three-touchdown air show against the Buffalo Bills in Week 9.

Some may question the logic in keeping Romo past 2013, when he'll be 33, pointing at his sub-.500 December record and his 1-3 playoff record.


However, those are crude numbers.

What matters is that Romo does much better than he did in prior years to put the Cowboys in a position to win. His completion rate was significantly better last year than it was in 2008 (61.3 percent) and 2009 (63.1 percent).

He's cut down his interception rate from more than three percent in his first three seasons to 1.9 percent this year. He completed at least 60 percent of his passes in 13 of 15 full games played.

As well as Romo played in 2011, there's no reason why the Cowboys shouldn't extend him. He's refined his game and cut down on mistakes. His ability to deliver in the clutch has improved.

To extend Romo through 2015 would be a reasonable move. The Cowboys should be able to get two or three more good years from him. Considering how he's cut down on his mistakes, Romo could even be a capable starter in 2015, when he'd be 35 years old.

Jones would be better off acting sooner rather than later. The Cowboys restructured Romo's contract last year to help themselves make moves. They restructured other contracts this year to free up cap space. That they would have to do the same next year could come into play.

The Cowboys wouldn't want to suddenly find themselves with a large cap hit from Romo's contract that figures to be a hindrance. The Cowboys can help themselves for future acquisitions and Super Bowl chances for the next few years by extending Romo.

Aside from two blown games, Romo has done everything in his power to rally the Cowboys to victory.


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