Owner Jerry Jones isn’t ready to speculate on Tony Romo’s future with the Dallas Cowboys.
At least not yet.
Jones tried to minimize any Romo talk before he watched Senior Bowl practices on Tuesday, refusing to even say whether he and Romo have had conversations since the Cowboys’ season ended.
“I’m not going to get into that at all – whether we’ve talked or not,” Jones said. “We’re at a juncture now that, we need to just cool it in our public conversations about what we’re going to be doing or not doing there with Tony.”
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Romo’s future is sure to be a storyline all off-season and picked up public steam earlier this week when Romo and Denver Broncos general manager John Elway were photographed together in Washington D.C.
Signs point to no realistic option other than the Cowboys and Romo parting ways. The Cowboys found their quarterback of the future in Dak Prescott, who led the team on an 11-game winning streak and to the NFC’s top seed this season.
Romo, meanwhile, is a significant salary cap hit and likely wants an opportunity to go somewhere and start. Romo is set to make a $14 million base salary in 2017 and count $24.7 million against the salary cap, the highest among any quarterback for next season.
Asked if he had a good idea of what Romo wants, Jones said: “Well, I’ve always had a good feeling that I communicated well and that we as an organization communicated well with Tony. Always – I’ve always had that.”
Romo, who turns 37 in April, is the franchise leader in passing yards (34,154), passing touchdowns (247), passer rating (97.1), completion percentage (65.3) and most 3,000-yard passing seasons (seven).
But he’s missed 21 games with injuries the past two seasons.
The Cowboys are pleased to have found Romo’s replacement even though Prescott’s rise might have happened quicker than expected.
That puts less of an emphasis on the quarterback position this off-season, although backups Kellen Moore and Mark Sanchez are set to become free agents.
Jones said the Cowboys could turn to Moore or Sanchez – or both – as the backup next season, but said it’s “not a given” at this point.
Either way, the organization won’t do as much homework on quarterbacks as they did a year ago when they tried to trade up for Paxton Lynch (Denver) and Connor Cook (Oakland) before landing Prescott.
“It won’t quite have the emphasis it had last year,” Jones said. “We really felt like it was time to look at the future quarterback and that dictated some of our strategy by the time we got down to the draft.
“So much for strategy, we never knew it would turn out the way it's turned out, thank goodness.”