Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones expects Tony Romo to play another five years.
In 2013, the Cowboys signed Romo to a six-year extension worth $108 million with $55 million guaranteed. They restructured the deal last off-season, converting $12.5 million of Romo’s $13.5 million base salary into a signing bonus.
The Cowboys’ faith in Romo’s long-term functionality was a reason they passed on drafting Johnny Manziel in the first round as the heir apparent.
“I’m planning on him having at least five years of playing at a level that would allow us to be possible contenders from that position, and maybe not doing some things that he had earlier as well or maybe with the energy or the efficiency he has, but maybe doing other things better,” Jones said Thursday.
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Romo, 34, said during training camp that “over the course of the next four or five years, you’ll see the best version of me that I’ve had throughout my career.”
Told Thursday that Jones said the quarterback was good for another five years, Romo said, “Right around there.”
Romo has had three back issues since the 2013 off-season. He had surgery to remove a cyst, surgery to repair a herniated disk and now two transverse process fractures, which forced him to miss Sunday’s game against Arizona.
It was one of two games he has missed with back injuries; Romo also sat out the Week 17 loss to Washington last season.
Still, none of that scares Jones about Romo’s future.
“I’m aware of his back,” Jones said. “Only God knows what is in store for his back. I’ve seen backs out there that you wouldn’t believe how they look on the MRIs and how they look on X-rays. Those never impacted careers at all, not his, but [other] players.”
Michael Irvin had his share of off-the-field issues during his career with the Cowboys.
So it’s understandable for the Hall of Famer to weigh-in on running back Joseph Randle’s arrest last month and the bizarre jailhouse booking video that shook up the locker room last week.
Irvin, who is in London working for the NFL Network, said Randle‘s pointing out prior criminal incidents involving teammates Dez Bryant and Josh Brent was not surprising.
“Fear makes you start rattling a lot of things out of your mouth,” Irvin said. “Stop playing around. And we can’t, and Dez can’t, don’t make it bigger than it is. Fear is a beast.
“It was a stupid deal on his part all the way around. We can’t expect a man who made a poor decision there to all of a sudden become Einstein when fear hits him.”
Regarding the initial incident that resulted in Randle landing in a Frisco jail for stealing a bottle of tester cologne and a pair of underwear, Irvin couldn’t stop laughing.
He paused twice in laughter before answering that Randle needs help growing past his upbringing, and once he does, he will make better decisions.
“It’s something you don’t want happening, but it’s more funny than worrisome, because it’s crazy,” Irvin said.
Bryant was as happy as anyone to see quarterback Tony Romo back at practice Thursday.
The receiver has struggled the past two weeks, catching only five passes in losses to Washington and Arizona.
Part of that can be attributed to Romo going down against the Redskins with two fractures in his back, forcing him to miss last week’s game against the Cardinals.
“It always helps whenever Tony is out there,” Bryant said. “He’s our guy.”