Let Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tell it, he has no idea how the team’s impending decision regarding the future of quarterback Tony Romo is going to play out.
Romo could be released. He could be traded. Or he could stay with the Cowboys.
Jones said the latter in all sincerity with full knowledge that it’s the least of all possibilities, considering the team’s all-time leading passer is now the backup quarterback in Dallas behind Dak Prescott. Romo wants a chance to finish his career as a starter, and the cap savings with his departure could help improve the Cowboys going forward.
But Jones was definitive and resolute about a couple things in a roughly 70-minute state of the team conversation. The Q&A, on the star-emblazoned Cowboys’ bus outside the Indianapolis Marriott, included 33 Romo-related questions.
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First and foremost, Jones said there was no factual basis to a three-way trade rumor involving the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers that would have Romo ending up with the Redskins. Jones said he hadn’t heard of the rumor until asked about it by a reporter on Saturday and that no one has talked to him, Romo or anyone associated with the Cowboys.
“Nothing factual in any way.” Jones said. “Haven’t had that discussion with anyone, most of all Romo. And so any of these things that you might see that represents interest or looks like it will be a fit or those kinds of things, all of those have no basis at this point other than just a thought of the different teams or different people that are involved and I wouldn’t have any consideration or comment or speculate on what might fit because I don’t think that anyone has that feeling at this particular point, the timing.”
Secondly, the idea of Romo ending up in Washington is a non-starter for Jones. He wouldn’t trade Romo to a division rival, and there is an unspoken understanding that Romo wouldn’t sign with the Redskins as a free agent if he was released.
There is no deal, but Jones feels confident in his relationship with Romo that the quarterback will abide by the “do-right rule.”
“It is implied that we will work in the best way we can for the mutual interest of Tony and the Cowboys. That was just implied,” Jones said. That’s important here. Now we’ve got to abide by every league rule. We can’t have agreements without it being within the boundaries of the NFL. But when you’ve got a situation like we got, we’ll do the do-right rule. That’s it. That is it. Very important. We do the do-right rule. We have that kind of relationship.”
Jones said a decision on Romo will likely happen sooner than later, though they will not be held hostage by the beginning of free agency on March 9.
He met with Romo in his office at the team’s headquarters at The Star in Frisco right before the Super Bowl. Romo didn’t ask for his release, but they discussed all the scenarios and all possibilities.
Although there definitely will be communication, another meeting does not need to take place before a decision is made. And it will be decision that is suitable for all parties, Jones said.
While Jones believes Romo can still lead a team to the Super Bowl and wants Romo to return to bolster the quarterback position behind Prescott, what Romo wants, how he wants to end his career and where he wants to end it also are factors.
“He’s considering options,” Jones said. “Obviously, we all know that he’s going to have the opportunity to look at whatever situation, if there are situations, he’s going to have an opportunity to look at it. He gets to say and control this situation every bit as much as we do.”