Tony Romo: Why Dallas Cowboys' Quarterback Deserves Big Contract Extension

Tim KeeneyContributor ISeptember 11, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 05:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys runs with the ball against the New York Giants during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Tony Romo is a quarterback capable of leading the Dallas Cowboys to the Super Bowl.

Chances are, if you've watched a single snap of the NFL, you either completely agree with that statement or absolutely hate my guts for making it. That's just the way Romo, who is arguably the most enigmatic QB in the league not named Michael or Tim, is viewed.

You either love him or hate him.

That will make his inevitable contract negotiations all the more interesting. According to Jerry Jones, however, the Cowboys haven't started thinking about when they'll open up talks with Romo, who is signed through 2013 (via The Dallas Morning News):

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is signed through the 2013 season. Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones was asked Tuesday when a possible Romo extension could be in the works.

“I don’t even get into when or how regarding contracts,” Jones responded on 105.3 [KRLD-FM] The Fan’s New School show. “That’ll have a timetable that I’m sure will be comfortable for Tony as well as the Cowboys.”

Well, that settles that. For now. But as soon as Romo looks to open up extension talks, the Cowboys should acquiesce his demands.

Here's why. 


He's a Quarterback

This is the NFL. It's increasingly becoming a passing league. Quarterbacks are becoming more and more important, and it's showing up in their paychecks. 

It's as simple as that.

When someone like Michael Vick is getting $100 million, Matt Schaub is getting extended for $30 million guaranteed and backups are getting paid like they are the second coming of Joe Montana, then it becomes painfully obvious that paying for a top-notch quarterback is inevitable. 


He's Also Better Than You Think

Romo's biggest critics always seem to overlook his gaudy career stats.

He has a career completion percentage of 65 and over 4,000 yards in three different seasons. He's thrown 10 interceptions or fewer in his last two full seasons. He has a career passer rating of 97.3 and 152 touchdown throws against 73 interceptions in his career.

Oh, and his last season of 4,184 yards, 31 touchdowns,10 interceptions and a passer rating of 102.5 was easily his best, so he's still improving at the age of 31. 

Yet, detractors continue to overlook all those defining numbers because they want to be like Skip Bayless and say that Romo doesn't have the "clutch gene." Whatever that is.

Yes, he's 1-3 in the playoffs. 

But that would mean a lot more if he didn't have a solid 4:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio, an 81 passer rating and football was an individual sport.

Has Romo been at his best in the playoffs? No, but the poor record certainly shouldn't be tossed upon his shoulders. 

Throw in the fact that he has 13 fourth-quarter comebacks and 14 game-winning drives (four in 2011), and the whole "Romo not being clutch" label kind of flies out the window. 


Show Him the Money

Romo is quickly catapulting himself to Pro Bowl levels in a game that credits teams with top quarterbacks. His criticisms—especially over the last year—aren't valid. He has a lot of miles on his legs, but he's proven to be the type of player who will play through injuries. 

Money could be spent in a lot of worse places. Tony Romo deserves a generous raise, and very soon.