February 26, 2013

Jerry wants credit, but Romo will be taking cash

As the window continues to close, Jones faces Romo extension, high expectations.

It would be a pleasure to give Jerry Jones credit when the Dallas Cowboys finally do win the Super Bowl again.

Just tell me which cemetery he’s buried in, so I can send the flowers.

Speaking to reporters last weekend on his luxury bus, the Jerry Mobile, Jones confessed that the moves he has made over the past 17 seasons haven’t always helped the franchise.

Gee. Ya think?

Owner Jones, who will turn 71 next season, then proclaimed:

“I would grant you that the decisions that were made over the years haven’t produced a Super Bowl, or two Super Bowls or three Super Bowls.

“The only thing I’m going to do is keep trying, and then make sure I get the credit when we do get one. Y’all are going to give it to me, aren’t you?”

Uh, well, sure. But why couldn’t Jerry just wish to go to Disney World or something a little more realistic?

There are no guarantees, of course, that come with NFL ownership. Look at the Ford family and the Detroit Lions. Ralph Wilson and Bud Adams have owned teams for 53 years and never won Super Bowls.

Jones’ remark about giving credit, therefore, probably was delivered partly in jest. But many a true word has been spoken in jest.

One of the subjects that Jones touched upon at the NFL Scouting Combine was an impending contract extension for quarterback Tony Romo.

Jerry and son Stephen are both saying the right things, that Tony has earned a princely pay boost and that, when the Cowboys do return to the Super Bowl, Romo will be one of the main reasons.

It’s not entirely a salary cap maneuver, son Stephen said. It’s also an In Romo We Trust kind of thing. A show of confidence.

We will dispense here with a recounting of Romo postseason highlights, brief as they may be. The more blunt truth is that the Cowboys have no heir apparent at quarterback.

Romo has all the leverage in this upcoming negotiation. Yet Jerry is still hoping for a hometown discount?

Owner Jones didn’t help his case last weekend when he suggested that Romo’s elusiveness allows the Cowboys to operate with a less-than-stellar offensive line. It may not be necessary, therefore, for the Cowboys to draft blockers this time, Jerry said.

“If there was a place where you theoretically had to have a weakness,” Jones said, “that just might be the place to have it. You just can’t have it all.”

Romo had to be thrilled to read that.

How much is he going to get? Romo’s last contract was announced as six years at $67.5 million, which included an $11.5 million signing bonus.

In the NFL, though, nothing is guaranteed unless it’s labeled as such. The guaranteed portion of Romo’s last contract was $30 million.

When the New Orleans Saints signed Drew Brees recently to a five-year, $100 million extension, $60 million of it was guaranteed.

Peyton Manning’s contract in Denver calls for $58 million in guaranteed money. And after its reported restructuring this week, Tom Brady’s new deal now assures him $57 million over the next five years.

Romo will get an early Christmas, but he shouldn’t get anywhere near those figures. Owner Jones, as is his style, is likely to announce a massive figure when the Cowboys re-sign Tony.

But pay attention only to the portion that is guaranteed. Somewhere between $45-48 million probably will be guaranteed to Romo.

Local talk show discussion about Romo possibly becoming the NFL’s highest paid player appears to be overreaching. Why would anyone pay Brees-Manning-Brady money for a free agent quarterback who’s only won one playoff game?

Cowboys faithful can take comfort in the knowledge that Owner Jones will try to figure it all out. Like last year, when the team signed eight free agents and proceeded to finish 8-8.

Warm up the Jerry Mobile. There is work to do, and Jones isn’t getting any younger.

Will he see another Super Bowl for his beloved Cowboys?

The outlook is cloudy. The windows are closing.

But he can always wish.

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