Tony Romo put out an emotional video on Thursday saying ‘goodbye’ to the fans of Dallas, a team he was never able to lead to the promised land of the Super Bowl.
It was reported that the Cowboys would release Romo on Thursday, but now there’s been a 180 on that, and it looks like the team is going to hang on to the QB in an effort to trade him to a team that needs a quarterback – the Broncos and Texans.
Those are the two teams rumored to have the most interest in Romo. As part of the report, Chris Mortensen said the Broncos’ potential trade could involve Denver’s 2016 starting quarterback Trevor Siemian going to the New York Jets, but Mortensen later said there was “some backpedal” on that part of the report. The part about Romo being traded was “still alive,” he said.
Presumably, the Cowboys hadn’t gotten much trade interest in Romo, so the plan as of Wednesday was to cut him. But the Broncos and Texans probably don’t want a bidding war over free-agent Romo, so maybe they started thinking twice about getting Romo in a trade. They’d be trading for Romo’s massive contract, but a restructure seems likely as part of a deal.
Nothing ever happens quietly with the Cowboys. Just when it seemed like the Romo saga might end with a release and no big fireworks, suddenly that story has taken a U-turn at the last minute.
Romo still holds value, and it’s in the Cowboys best interest to try and see if they can make a deal happen. At this point – they have nothing to lose with the veteran QB.
DeShaun Watson took a page out of Myles Garrett’s playbook Monday while accepting the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award in Fort Worth, Texas, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
Except Watson pitched his fantasy trade between the Browns and Cowboys in front of a crowd, which included Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
Watson playfully urged Garrett to trade quarterbacks Dak Prescott and Tony Romo to the Browns so the Cowboys could pick him.
“The Browns do need a quarterback,” Watson said, drawing laughter from the crowd. “You can trade both of them [Prescott and Romo]. I’m sitting right there. They [the Browns] need two [quarterbacks]. They need two.”
“I told coach Garrett if I’m back here [at the awards ceremony], you have to draft me,” Watson said. “So I know there’s a lot of Dallas Cowboys fans. Tony Romo is healthy. Dak, I’m a huge fan. … You fell in love with him. But, hey, I did my part. You have to do your part.”
Then Watson quipped he would talk to Garrett more about his proposal next week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and pointed out the Browns’ need for not one, but two QBs.
On Monday he Cowboys restructured the contracts of All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith and All-Pro center Travis Frederick, freeing up $17.3 million, moving them under a proposed salary-cap of $168 million for 2017, Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas reports.
In a simple accounting move, the Cowboys lowered Smith’s $10 million base salary and Frederick’s $14.221 million base salary and turned the difference into signing bonus. Instead of counting $15.8 million (Smith) and $14.871 million (Frederick) against the cap in 2017, they will count $8.82 million and $4.531 million, respectively.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Cowboys were slightly more than $13 million over a cap of $170 million before the restructures.
The Cowboys can create more room by restructuring the contracts of linebacker Sean Lee, receiver Dez Bryant and defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford, as well as working on an extension for tight end Jason Witten.
A release of Tony Romo can create either $5.1 million in salary-cap room or $14 million if he is designated a post-June 1 cap casualty, however, they would not gain the credit until June 2.
The Cowboys had planned all along to rework the deals of Smith and Frederick. This is the third straight year they have restructured Smith’s contract. The Cowboys signed Frederick to an eight-year deal last August with the expressed desire for it to be restructured.
The Cowboys used the fourth-overall pick in last year’s draft on Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott and he played a huge role in turning the team around from 4-12 to 13-3.
Former Cowboys running back Herschel Walker, who was honored with the Doak Walker Legacy Award on Saturday, thinks that backs like Elliott and this year’s Doak Walker winner Texas running back D’Onta Foreman are making running backs fashionable again, Adam Grosbard of the Dallas Morning News reports.
“They are and that’s what we talked about yesterday,” Walker said as he looked over at Foreman. “Even though they talk about the West Coast offense and all this stuff, to be honest, whenever you want to win the Super Bowl, who do you go to? The running back. Because you can pass the ball all you want to do, but when you want to win the game you better be able to run the ball and you better have that running back.”
“I love Zeke. I love his fire and the way he plays,” Walker said. “Elliott loves to play football. It’s amazing that he’s carrying the ball 30-some times a day. People don’t know, that’s tough. And the guy comes back the next week and does the same thing and loves it. I was shocked that he’s had the speed that he’s had.”
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has yet to have a formal conversation with owner Jerry Jones about his immediate future, and that’s likely to take place before the Cowboys’ contingent leaves for Indianapolis, and that will be an emotional exchange for each individual, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports citing sources.
Romo is plenty smart enough to know there are things he can do to facilitate a trade with one of those teams if need be. Would it be ideal to simply be released and able to sign any contract he wants with the team of his choosing? Sure. But if Jones, who now finds himself in Super Bowl or bust mode in 2017, can get a third-round pick for him, and find a cheap five-year starter with that pick to contribute to a potential championship run, it would be foolish to not at least explore those options when everyone gathers in Indy. The fact is, no one knows precisely how this will unfold — not Romo, not even Jones — but all can agree that there is no feasible path to seeing Romo back in Dallas next season.
Beyond that, Romo “expects” nothing.
The exact mechanism that leads to his departure will unfold in due time, and in the meantime he is working out like a demon and is prepared to throw himself into the offseason program wherever he lands in hopes of winning a Lombardi Trophy himself. The thought of going to a rebuilding team obviously doesn’t make much sense at this point in his career, and being flexible with regard to massaging his contract to work within the cap constraints of a contending team is something to which he’s open.
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott posted a response, according to two media outlets, to an early report from the website TMZ that he was “detained” for about four minutes by police at a nightclub in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday night, Vince Langford of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
“I was never ‘detained’ by the police. Nor was I ever questioned or in any type of trouble,” read a social media post attributed to Elliott by 247Sports and NJ.com.
TMZ clarified the headline to its post that Elliott was detained: “Ezekiel’s rep tells us he spoke with cops about something that happened inside a club he had just left. The rep did not describe the incident but says it did not involve Ezekiel.”
During Super Bowl week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that an investigation into a possible violation of the NFL’s domestic abuse policy against Elliott had not reached a conclusion, and he didn’t indicate a timetable.
Though his destination is yet to be determined, it appears as though Tony Romo knows how his time with the Dallas Cowboys will end, the Dallas Morning News reports.
ESPN’s Ed Werder has reported that Romo expects a release from the organization — not a trade — and that the 37-year-old quarterback believes he still has 2-3 seasons left in him as a starter.
That Romo could be released, however, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Trading him may be difficult to maneuver. Romo would have to agree on the team trying to acquire him and probably be asked to rework his contract (Romo would account for a $24.7 million salary cap hit on the books next season if Dallas kept him).