Another good season, another bad performance in the most important game, another playoff missed. Tony Romo is heading into his final year on his current contract with the Dallas Cowboys quite undecided about what to do with their franchise quarterback, and how high should be his next deal with the team.
Contract years tend to be different for players. Somehow, they’re always better when compared with other parts of the player’s career, but for Romo, who has always put up impressive numbers (4903 yards last season), it’s about getting over the postseason hump, and giving the usually overrated Dallas Cowboys into the playoffs and winning a game there.
While it’s quite unclear if the Cowboys have a good enough team to compete in the NFC East (with the rising Redskins and the Giants who should be competitive at least), one of the bigger conundrums is how good of a quarterback Romo is, and in what group of other QBs around the NFL to put him in.
Joe Flacco wasn’t considered to be among the elite group, which consists of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, but he had a very good finish to a so-so year, winning the Super Bowl and putting himself in a position to demand all the money in the world from the Ravens, who look like they’ll probably put the franchise tag on him before they work out another deal.
Romo made an average of $12.7 million on his most recent contract, and now the question is how much he thinks he can get out of Jerry Jones’ pocket. There’s always the option of having a bad season, and another final game in which he throws three interceptions, killing the Cowboys’ chances, and maybe killing his future with the Cowboys. Romo will be 33 when the 2013 season begins, but his physical ability isn’t the problem. It’s as always, getting past a troublesome offensive line and his own decision making in crunch time.
Jay Cutler is making $15 million a season; Matt Schaub makes $13 million; Philip Rivers makes $14 million. Romo is probably a better quarterback than all three of them, but his lack of playoff credentials hurt his bid in asking for a bigger contract than the one he’s about to finish. It all depends on how the 2013 season goes. Another 8-8/9-7 year, falling short of the playoff goal, and Romo can only dream about getting something like Cutler’s contract. A year with the same kind of numbers he put up in 2012 and with success the Cowboys haven’t been used to in recent years might get him a four-year deal, with the kind of money that’s very close to the elites.