IRVING Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says one reason he didn’t draft Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was because he couldn’t see him backing up starter Tony Romo four or five years.
Jones always believed that the 34-year Romo has four or five more years left in him and is even more entrenched in that thinking because of the team’s shift from a pass-happy offense to a run-oriented attack.
Jones said the results in 2014, based on the success of NFL-leading rusher DeMarco Murray and the best offensive line in football that powered the Cowboys to Sunday's NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, makes him believe that Romo can play longer despite coming off back surgeries in each of the past two years.
“I think it’s more suited, when you run the ball as much as we’re running it, probably more conducive to protection,” Jones said. “And obviously, handing the ball off, you’re a little less vulnerable to taking the hit than you are to dropping back and throwing it. But yeah, I’d say that’s the case.”
Romo enjoyed the best season of his career in 2014, throwing 34 touchdowns to just nine interceptions, while leading the league in passer rating, completion percentage and yards per attempt.
Romo threw the ball less because of the focus on the run, but was more efficient than ever.
“I thought that Tony had less wear and tear on him than his years indicate,” Jones said. “I’ve looked at a lot of this and thought he had a chance to have an extended career as to his 30s are concerned. Yes, I’m looking at the kind of years he’s talking about if he’s talking about five or under.”