Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spends money on players like how Dez Bryant would spend money in a jewelry store. Or how Vince Young would on a birthday party.
That is, with reckless abandon and a complete disregard for the future consequences of those actions.
That spending has put the Cowboys in a tricky cap situation this year, but Jones, as he usually does, has a creative solution for that problem.
Spend even more!
After restructuring the contracts of several veteran players over the past couple of weeks, the Cowboys blew those deals right out of the water on Friday.
Cowboys and Tony Romo reached an agreement on blockbuster 6-year extension that makes him highest paid player in team history, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 29, 2013
Schefter later tweeted more details of that deal:
And here are the numbers: Dallas is giving QB Tony Romo a six-year extension worth $108 million, per sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 29, 2013
Yes, you read that right: $108 million. That's an average of $18 million a season. Ed Werder of ESPN reports that $55 million of that contract is guaranteed:
Tony Romo extension covers six additional seasons, averaging $18 million per year and includes $55 million guaranteed _ more than Joe Flacco— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) March 29, 2013
The Dallas Cowboys just handed their 32-year-old quarterback (33 in April) more money than the Baltimore Ravens gave their 28-year-old signal-caller, fresh off a victory in the Super Bowl.
Reaction to the deal was as immediate as it was incredulous.
Is this Tony Romo deal an early April Fools joke?— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 29, 2013
Tony Romo 6 yr 55 million dollar extension. Wow really, with one playoff win. You got to be kidding me— Donovan McNabb (@donovanjmcnabb) March 29, 2013
It's understandable that the Cowboys wanted, even needed, to get a deal done with Romo. He counted for nearly $17 million against this year's salary cap, his contract was up after the 2013 season and, per the terms of that contract, Romo could not be slapped with the franchise tag in 2014.
Basically, Romo held all the cards, and he parlayed that hand into a contract that defies all reason.
That isn't to say that Tony Romo isn't a very good quarterback. The nine-year veteran threw for a career-high 4,903 yards in 2012. He's topped 4,000 yards four times, has nearly twice as many career touchdown passes as interceptions and, as Bleacher Report's own Ian Kenyon points out, Romo's career passer rating is nearly identical to Peyton Manning's.
Peyton Manning and Tony Romo's career passer ratings are separated by a tenth of a point. 95.7 to 95.6— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) March 29, 2013
However, that doesn't change the fact that Romo has a grand total of one playoff victory in his entire career in Dallas. He's never played in a conference title game, much less the Super Bowl. His career record in the playoffs is 1-3.
In other words, Flacco won as many playoff games last year as Romo has ever played in.
The Cowboys haven't even made the playoffs in each of the past three seasons. In the past two, the team entered Week 17 needing a win to advance. Both times, Romo and the Cowboys came up short.
Romo's defenders will no doubt claim that those losses weren't all his fault, and to an extent they're right. Football is a team sport.
Still, how are the Cowboys expected to build a championship-caliber team with this monstrosity piled on top of all the recent restructuring? What are they going to do when players like Dez Bryant or Sean Lee are set to hit free agency?
Even Romo must not have too much faith in the Cowboys' ability to hold it together long term, because he just took the team for every penny he could squeeze out of it rather than take a little less money in an effort to help build around him.
Super Bowl or bust just took on a whole new meaning in Dallas.
Some fans will no doubt say that I'm Chicken Little-ing, that Jones has always found a way to maneuver around the salary cap.
In case you haven't noticed, it's been a long time since Dallas was in the Super Bowl. How good of a job has he really done?
You can only play the shell game for so long. Eventually the bill comes due.
Part of it did on Friday. While it's a great day to be Tony Romo's agent, it's a dark one for the Dallas Cowboys, who just made Tony Romo the most overpaid player in the NFL by a country mile.
If Tony Romo got more money than Joe Flacco, that means Aaron Rodgers is going to get $950,000,000,000,000,000+— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsRadio) March 29, 2013