The unsettled status of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s seemingly certain departure remains ambiguous and unchanged.
And there appears to be no end in sight for a resolution with the team’s all-time leading passer, who is apparently a man without a home and an unknown future now that the Cowboys turned to Dak Prescott as their franchise quarterback.
Will he be cut? Are the Cowboys still trying to work out a trade with the Houston Texans or Denver Broncos? Is retirement an option?
Owner Jerry Jones had no answers on any of those questions nor would he put a deadline on resolving the ongoing impasse.
But what he was certain about during a 35-minute interview at the NFL owners meetings at the Biltmore Hotel was that there was no angst or animosity between Romo and the Cowboys regarding his state of uncertainty.
Jones has visited with Romo in the past few days and will be visiting with him in the days and weeks ahead. He said they are on great terms and in keeping with the do-right rule.
“Absolutely. Yes. Absolutely,” Jones said. “I’m completely satisfied with how he’s doing and I have no reason to believe he’s not satisfied with how I’m doing. I feel good about how we’re doing. We’re being the Cowboys, me and Tony. I feel very good about it.”
As far as Romo’s status is concerned, Jones said there is nothing to update and nothing has changed since the end of the season. And he is not in any rush to get something done.
“There’s no waiting game,” Jones said. “This is the off-season. We’re not missing doing anything. From the standpoint of the franchise and the Cowboys, nothing is being held up here at all. We don’t have anything imminent that’s pushing us.”
Jones said Romo, who turns 37 in April, is being patient with the process because he has some decisions to make for himself. While Denver and Houston would be certain options for Romo if he is released, he also has television offers from Fox Sports and CBS Sports if he decides to retire.
“There is kind of a menu of several alternatives that Tony has,” Jones said. “In that sense, he has, as much as we look at this as an important time for Tony, he’s got some great options.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett refused to speculate on whether retirement is an option for Romo.
But he did say Romo’s ability to stay healthy for a full 16-game season is in question given his injury history.
Romo has played in only five regular-season games since 2014 and has suffered broken bones three of the past six times he’s touched the field.
He missed 12 games in 2015 with two fractured collarbones.
A fractured back on the third play of the third preseason game in 2016 caused him to miss the first nine games of the season, opening the door for Prescott’s emergence as the starting quarterback.
“Durability has been an issue the last couple years,” Garrett said. “So nobody really knows how he can handle the course of a 16-game season. He’s been a great football player for us for a long time. We’ve been fortunate to have him.”
Those are issues that would be concerns for Houston or Denver if he’s traded or if the teams plan to sign him as a free agent when he is released.
Jones refused to disclose if trade talks are taking place.
He also said wouldn’t discuss whether the Cowboys have given Romo permission to negotiate a trade for himself or whether they could renegotiate his contract to make it more trade friendly.
Romo has three years left on his Cowboys contract with base salaries of $14 million, $19.5 million and $20.5 million.
Per a source, the Broncos deem Romo’s contract untradeable.
“Those type of things go right to the crux of what we’re trying to resolve or not resolve or get to,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t want to go into, or wouldn’t feel we’re in a position to go into, any of that.
“I just don’t think we can address it because those technical things are the things. At the end of the day, those type of things tell the story, to address technical aspect of it.”
Jones said the start of the off-season program on April 17 has no bearing on the decision even though the Cowboys could be on the hook for Romo’s $14 million salary in 2017 if he shows up and is injured.
The Cowboys could ask him to stay away from the program.
Jones, however, said there is no deadline driving the decision.
“The deadlines are a part of the status,” Jones said. “I don’t want to imply that some of those dates when off-season programs start, when training camp starts are of particular importance. That implies we have a deadline and that’s not the case.”
A return to the Cowboys is even a possibility though it’s highly unlikely.
“No ship has sailed,” Jones said. “No ships have sailed. It’s just like it was when the season was over. There is no ship that has sailed as far as I’m aware of regarding his multiple opportunities.”
Nothing has been done either.
It remains unsettled and unresolved.