Cowboys believe in Romo, and the stats back them up

Posted Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A
Answers to quarterback quiz

A: Peyton Manning, B: Tom Brady, C: Eli Manning, D: Tony Romo, E: Drew Brees, F: Ben Roethlisberger, G: Aaron Rodgers.

What position should the Dallas Cowboys target with the 14th overall pick in April's NFL Draft?

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INDIANAPOLIS -- For better or worse, Tony Romo will be the Dallas Cowboys' quarterback. Period.

Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones doesn't see Romo ever leaving the team, unlike Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, whose expected departure has dominated the talk in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The six-year, $67.4 million contract Romo signed in 2007 expires after the 2013 season. The Cowboys have yet to talk about a contract extension with Romo.

Jones says the only thing to talk about is the numbers, as the eight-year veteran who turns 32 in April is not going anywhere.

"Tony is going to play a lot more than two more years," Jones said. "We are going to take care of Tony. Tony is going to be a Cowboy."

Jones echoed owner Jerry Jones, who said over the weekend that he has no interest in starting over with a rookie quarterback. He said he wouldn't trade Romo for Stanford's Andrew Luck or Baylor's Robert Griffin III, the projected top two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Jones said the Cowboys already have a franchise quarterback in Romo.

Despite all the criticism Romo has gotten for the Cowboys' failures in the clutch since he took over as quarterback in 2006, the Cowboys' front office views him as one of the team's top assets and sees him as the key to Dallas making it back to the Super Bowl.

"There are not many better than him out there," Jones said. "I hear it -- he hasn't gotten it done yet. I hear it, all of that. But you are not going to find much better than Tony Romo. Every year he improves. As he gets better, our chances get better."

Jones said the toughest thing about Romo's stint at quarterback is that injuries forced him to miss significant stretches in 2008 and 2010, two of the three seasons the Cowboys have missed the playoffs since 2006.

The only other time was last season, when Romo likely had the best season of his career only to guide the Cowboys to an 8-8 finish.

"This year he was fully healthy and had a hell of a year and we didn't get to the playoffs," Jones said. "That stings."

What the Cowboys plan to do this off-season to make sure that sting is not repeated in 2012 is get Romo some help, which is why improving the offensive line and adding talent on defense are their top priorities in the draft and free agency.

An upgrade at cornerback could come with the signing of the Chiefs' Brandon Carr or the Titans' Cortland Finnegan to replace Terence Newman.

The Cowboys then would be able to focus on one of the top offensive guards with the 14th overall pick in the draft. Two names to watch are Stanford's David DeCastro and Georgia's Cordy Glenn.

Clarence E. Hill Jr.

817-390-7760

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Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones says there aren't many quarterbacks better than Tony Romo. Statistically speaking, he might be right. Below are the season averages for Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Romo.

Can you pick out Romo's numbers? (Answers at right.)

Player

Completion %

Yards

TD

INT

Rating

Win %

A

64.9%

4,218

31

15

94.9

.679

B

63.9%

3,634

27

10

96.4

.780

C

58.4%

3,447

23

16

82.1

.580

D

64.5%

3,472

25

12

96.9

.610

E

66.0%

4,052

28

15

94.0

.601

F

63.1%

3,322

21

13

92.1

.708

G

65.5%

4,259

33

9

105.0

.661

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