Tony Romo is not going to retire any time soon, and his boss believes he is going to be around for a long time. How long may both surprise you, and make you sick. During Jerry Jones’ weekly interview on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday morning, I asked him how much longer he thinks Romo can be the man.
“Four to five more years,” Jerry said.
At that point, I am fairly certain that listeners could hear the sounds of me smacking my right palm against my forehead, and the show’s co-host Kevin Hageland audibly express some “concern.”
To that, Jerry made a headline with this winner: “This is not a damn debate, guys,” Jones said. “This is not a debate we're having here.”
Tell me how you really feel.
He wasn’t angry. He wasn’t especially testy.
“Do you know that I don't know if he's got four or five years?” he said. “You asked me my opinion and I can give you all the reasons why: the back, or I can give you clavicle, or I can give you any other type of injuries that are there.”
“But you're asking me what I think, and I think we've got outstanding quarterbacking ahead of us for the next four or five years. That's not a downer. Will we be looking to develop and get talent behind Romo? Absolutely.”
This is like someone asking me what time I think the sun will rise, and I answer 8 a.m.; it’s what I think, even if there is a lot of evidence to believe the sun will rise at 7:30 a.m.
I have no idea why Jerry’s stance should surprise even the most novice and casual of NFL fans. He has been all-in with Romo the moment he handed him his first giant contract in the fall of 2007. Jerry would rather die 1,000 deaths than to go through the football inferno of finding his replacement for Troy Aikman.
Jerry has a memory like an elephant, and cannot forget the days of Vinny Testaverde, Quincy Carter, Clint Stoerner, Randall Cunningham, and all of the other greats to play QB here in the Jerre era.
Here is the problem ...
Romo will be 36 in April, and recently suffered a broken left collarbone for the second time this season during the Cowboys’ loss against the Carolina Panthers during the Thanksgiving Day Massacre. This is the third time Romo has broken the collarbone; the first came during the 2010 season.
Ironically, what knocked Romo out this year was not his back, on which he had a pair of back surgeries in 2013.
For my money, give me two more years, after which he will call it a career.
Romo is signed through the 2019 seasons, but the final two years of his contract his salary jumps.
2016: $8.5 million
2017: $14 million (cap hit, $24.7 million)
2018: $19.5 million (cap hit, $25.2 million)
2019 $20.5 million (cap hit, $23.7 million)
Now the Cowboys could always re-structure his deals, as they routinely have with so many players in the past, to make his numbers more palatable to build a decent roster.
Four to five more years for Romo sounds like a fantasy, and it also sounds like Jerry. Two years sounds more like it.