INDIANAPOLIS – Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he has had one extended visit with Tony Romo since the season ended, but there’s no decision regarding the veteran quarterback’s future with the team.
Jones still did not rule out the possibility of Romo returning to the Cowboys in 2017, despite Dak Prescott’s move into the starting lineup as a rookie and Romo’s current $24.7 million cap hit for 2017 – quite a large figure for a backup.
“I do not know how, what we will end up with – whether it will be a trade, whether it will be a release, whether it will be neither. I do not know at this time,” Jones said Saturday from the NFL Scouting Combine. “All scenarios have been well-considered and thought out. Now we’ve just got to see where the reality us.”
Jones said he met with Romo right before the Super Bowl and “every scenario was covered as far as I was concerned.”
The options have been well-documented and much-speculated by now. Releasing Romo would save the Cowboys $5.1 million but cost them nearly $20 million in dead money – a total that could be split over two years if he was designated a post-June 1 release, which would save them $14 million after that date. Romo is signed through 2019.
The team could attempt to trade him, but Jones said “there has been absolutely no visits with any third parties” regarding his potential availability.
Jones also said the March 9 start of the new league year – the start of the free agency and trading period – is not a stringent deadline for a resolution.
“We’re in a situation right now where we need to see some things happen,” Jones said. “We need to read some tea leaves. We don’t need to be overtly doing something. We don’t need to do that for cap room; we don’t need to do that for any reason. We just need to see some direction, and the way we’ll get it is by coming together and mutually working that direction out. So I mean I’m not trying to be vague; all I’m trying to do is say that we don’t have anything to move on at this point.”
Romo, 36, has broken numerous franchise passing records as the starting quarterback from 2006-2015. A preseason back injury opened the door for Prescott to step in, and the rookie kept the job all season, leading the Cowboys to a franchise-record tying 13 victories.