Should Dallas Cowboys Trade Quarterback Tony Romo?

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Should Dallas Cowboys Trade Quarterback Tony Romo?
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

The answer to the headline is a resounding yes.

This thought has been discussed by a number of you and I’ve even heard it mentioned on national television. This does not mean it will happen, but the smoke might be starting to build around this idea and there are several good reasons why.

This has nothing at all to do with the fact that Tony Romo threw five interceptions in Monday night’s debacle against the Chicago Bears at Cowboys Stadium.

It has nothing to do with Romo only having one playoff win during his time as starting quarterback for America’s Team .

It has been reported recently that owner and general manager Jerry Jones is interested in extending Romo’s contract beyond 2013. It has also been reported that Romo and his agent would like to hold off on that discussion until a later date, likely after the season.

Of course, the primary reason that Romo wants to hold off on this idea is financial leverage. The tenth year quarterback, like any other player in his shoes, has to wonder what he might be worth on the open market. Agent Tom Condon knows where he sits in this negotiation and he will play this for all it’s worth, whether Romo stays in Dallas or not.

But another reason that might be underestimated is exactly how bad Romo wants to win a championship before he retires. Now in his tenth season, and with perhaps only two to four more years remaining in his prime, time is getting rather short in his quest to compete for a championship. Sure doesn’t seem like the Cowboys are closing in on contention anytime soon, does it?

Yet another reason is Romo’s health. He’s either missed games and/or suffered significant injuries that affected his play in each of the past two seasons. Doesn’t seem like this will be the first season since 2009 that Romo stays healthy all the way through the regular season—and certainly not the way he’s getting hit after just a quarter of the 2012 campaign.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Romo just after breaking collar bone in 2010.

Is it possible that Romo wants out?

How could he not at least consider it?

Now, the motivation behind Jones wanting to extend Romo is twofold.

To start with, he’s not interested in paying Romo an inflated salary of just under $17 million dollars in 2013.

In addition to salary cap concerns, Jones undoubtedly believes that there’s enough team surrounding Romo to contend for a Super Bowl win within the next two seasons. I can assure you that Jones believes this.

It isn’t likely that Dallas will rebuild its front line blockers (again) in time to make a difference in Romo’s prospects to lead the Cowboys deep in the NFC playoffs. Sure, it could happen but it really seems like this is more than a few seasons away.

Nate Livings and Tyron Smith are probably the only two offensive linemen that have the capability of being quality starters for the next several seasons. Not too sure about how things pan out for Mackenzy Bernadeau, but to this point, it does not look very good at all. I have seen snails move better and while I like his size and age, he would have never been available on the free agent market if he was a blue chip player.

Rounding out the starters is right tackle Doug Free who may have just been a flash in the pan and you can go ahead pick one of those centers because they’re all pretty lame.

Depth appears to be non-existent on the offensive line and this is where it really hurts.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Left tackle Tyron Smith. (#77)

Poor decisions by Jerry Jones have really hit the Cowboys hard as far as filling out what could be a very strong roster of talent. But trades like the one that brought in now-retired Roy Williams set the framework for arguably the worst draft in franchise history in 2009. You realize that only Victor Butler, a non-starter, is the only player who remains from that draft?

True, there was no first round pick but it was just three years ago!

Then came the 2010 NFL draft.  Jones traded his 90th pick, a third rounder, for wide receiver Dez Bryant. History already shows that this was just as questionable of a call as it was thought to have been then.

In the 2012 NFL draft, just six months ago, Jones traded away a second round pick to move up to the sixth selection to nab cornerback Morris Claiborne. Jury is still out on this decision, but it cost Dallas two good football players instead of just one.

Bottom line is this: Dallas has numerous holes to fill, including but not limited to head coach and GM. The Cowboys are not in position to “top off” the roster of a contending football team .

Trading Romo would provide cap relief and would also help the franchise turn the page within a few  seasons while not sacrificing young, blue chip talent that has emerged in recent seasons. Remember that guys like Claiborne, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter and DeMarco Murray are going to be around for awhile.

Who’s going to start at quarterback if Romo is gone?

Kyle Orton.

At 29 years old, Orton is more than young enough to hold the fort until a young franchise quarterback can be obtained—and this time maybe Jones won’t wait until he is in his fourth year to play him.

Orton won’t win enough games you say?

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t winning enough games already!

More good football players, and hopefully a new head coach, is the only thing that will change this huge problem.    

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