Tony Romo Reportedly Expecting Release, Not Trade from Cowboys

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 1: Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys warms up prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 1, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 27-13. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo expects to be released rather than traded this offseason, according to a report from Ed Werder of ESPN.

Werder adds that Romo expects to be an NFL starter for two to three more seasons.

The issue for Romo, who turns 37 in April, may be whether he can remain healthy. Injuries cost him 12 games in the 2015 season and more than half of the 2016 season. By the team Romo was ready to return to the team last year, Dak Prescott had established himself as the future of the organization at the position, rendering Romo expendable.

It's little surprise that Romo expects to leave Dallas this year, and the only question is whether he'll be released or traded. For teams interested in bringing Romo aboard, moving assets to acquire him—when he could potentially be signed as a free agent if Dallas indeed releases him—is a hard sell.

Trading for an injury-prone player nearing 40 is risky, and Romo is due $14 million next year, $19.5 million in 2018 and $20.5 million in 2019, per Spotrac.com. It's hard to imagine teams will give up assets and pay Romo, who has appeared in all of five games over the past two years, that sort of money.

The Cowboys are unlikely to just dump Romo anywhere. As Albert Breer of The MMQB reported, "I believe, as do some Cowboys staffers, that the Jones family will do right by Romo, listen to what he wants and will try not to send him into a bad situation."

Certainly, if Romo is released there will be a market for his services. He's thrown for at least 3,700 yards and 26 touchdowns six times in his career, exceeding 4,000 yards four times and reaching 30 touchdowns four times as well. He was fantastic in 2014, his last healthy season, throwing for 3,705 yards, 34 touchdowns and just nine interceptions while completing 69.9 percent of his passes.

For teams with strong rosters but holes at quarterback, Romo would make sense. The Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets would be logical in that sense. Teams with younger, rebuilding rosters likely to draft a quarterback this year—think the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears—could also make sense if Romo is signed to be a temporary starter to help groom a younger starter who will eventually take over.

Add it all up, and Romo will have his share of suitors. It's just far easier to imagine those suitors' waiting for his release rather than trying to orchestrate a trade.

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