Oddsmakers for an online gambling site list the Denver Broncos as the favorite to land Tony Romo. The Texans have the second-best odds.
Realistically, the site could have left off the other five teams for which it lists odds.
The Broncos and the Texans are not only the leading candidates to become Romo’s new football home but the only real options. Those two teams have what none of the others have – a chance to win now.
Both teams seemingly have (almost) everything else to make Romo a fit, too. They have good defenses, playmakers on offense and are short flights from Dallas, where Romo’s wife, Candice, is pregnant with the couple’s third child. Both teams also have veteran backups who have started games if Romo can’t make it through the season.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
What neither has is a good offensive line, which would become a priority at upgrading with Romo at quarterback. Romo hasn’t played a full, 16-game season since 2012, and if he can’t stay healthy behind the best offensive line in football….
The Broncos, who won the Super Bowl in 2015, ranked fourth in total defense last season. But they were 29th in total offense, including 29th in passing, with Trevor Siemian ranked 23rd in passer rating. They have Paxton Lynch, a first-round pick in 2016, waiting in the wings.
Denver has Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at receiver.
Mike McCoy, fired as the Chargers head coach after last season, has returned as the Broncos offensive coordinator. Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers were the last two quarterbacks he coached.
The Texans, who lost to the Patriots in the divisional round last season, ranked first in total defense. But they ranked only 29th in total offense, including 29th in passing. Brock Osweiler ranked 29th in passer rating. They likely would move on from Osweiler if they sign Romo, would keep Tom Savage as the backup and draft a young quarterback to groom as Romo’s replacement in 2018.
Houston has plenty of playmakers in DeAndre Hopkins, Lamar Miller, Will Fuller and Braxton Miller.
Head coach Bill O’Brien, who worked with Tom Brady in New England, runs the offense.
Romo can’t lose with those two teams.
The Broncos have $29.8 million in cap space and the Texans, despite guaranteeing Osweiler $16 million this season, have $15.5 million. Romo will receive an incentive-laden contract with per-game bonuses.
The Cowboys will give Romo his release Thursday, the first day of free agency, allowing their all-time leading passer quickly to find a new home.
Bookmaker.eu listed odds of Tony Romo’s next landing spot:
Denver Broncos +170
Houston Texans +240
Chicago Bears +400
New York Jets +600
Cleveland Browns +900
San Francisco 49ers +1300
Washington Redskins +1600