PHOENIX – The Tony Romo-saga continues.
What are the Dallas Cowboy going to do with their injury-prone veteran quarterback, now expendable due to the emergence of Dak Prescott last year?
Romo, 37, is slated to make $14 million in 2017, which is too much to serve as a backup to Prescott.
On Tuesday, at the NFL Owner’s Meeting at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett fielded a myriad of questions about Romo’s future.
“It is a situation we are working through,” Garrett said. “[Romo] and Jerry Jones are the principle people in working that situation through.”
Reportedly, the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos are interested in Romo’s service, but can’t comment publicly due to NFL tampering rules.
“He’s still under contract with the Cowboys,” Broncos GM John Elway said Monday in Phoenix.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Elway is interested in Romo, but only as a free agent, not in a trade. No other team wants to take on Romo’s current contract, which pays him base salaries of $14 million, $19.5 million and $20.5 million the next three seasons.
If he’s released, a team can agree to a new contract with Romo at more favorable financial terms.
The question with Romo isn’t talent, but durability. Over the last two seasons, he’s suffered two broken collarbones and a fractured back.
“Tony has been a great football player in this league for a long time, been a great football player for our organization,” Garrett said. “He can play the game at a high level. He played one series the past year for us and was very productive as he has been throughout his career. Durability has been an issue the last couple of years, so nobody really knows how he can handle the course of a 16-game season, but that’s true for everybody. You take that risk with every player on your roster.”
If Romo decides to retire, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that FOX and CBS have interest in hiring him as a game analyst.
But, retiring from the sport he loves won’t be easy for Romo. Breitbart Sports asked Garrett, a former NFL QB, how tough it is for players to walk away.
“At the end of the days, these guys love football, and if they didn’t love football to the extent that they do, they wouldn’t be able to play as long as they have,” Garrett told Breitbart Sports. “They guys not only need to love the game, but love the preparation for the game. The best players, and the guys that play the longest, are the ones that are able to do that.
“Often-times health is the biggest factor. (Long-time Cowboys right tackle) Doug Free is a great football player. He would play 10 more years if he was healthy. He’s been dealing with a number of things in his body the last few years and in his mind it was time to move on (he retired a few weeks ago).
“Each guy has to make his own decision. It’s a personal decision. It requires a tremendous commitment to be an NFL football player, a tremendous commitment and these guys understand that and when they aren’t willing to make that commitment that is typically when they move on to do something else.”
Romo probably is willing to make the commitment in 2017, but it’s unclear whether his body would cooperate.