You can’t help but feel a little sympathetic for Tony Romo. After spending more than a decade with the Dallas Cowboys organization and leading the team to several winning records, Romo’s unyielding health issues and the Cinderella success of Dak Prescott have landed him a spot on the bench with Dallas fielding what could be their most Super Bowl-worthy team since Romo joined he botched the hold in 2006. Can you image all the cameras that will be on him if they really win it all while he’s on the bench?
36-year-old quarterbacks don’t have the trade value of young and healthy prospects, but Romo has shown that he can be effective as recently as January of 2017. This offseason will be a critical turning point in the career of the former Eastern Illinois quarterback.
With Tony Romo holding on to a sizeable contract and Dak Prescott unquestionably expecting to receive a bump up from the his comparatively paltry rookie allotment, the odds-on scenario would be that Romo gets traded. The speculative cost for Romo? Many analysts feel he’s worth something between a second and fourth round draft pick.
Because Romo enjoys a good relationship with the Cowboys organization, it’s not likely he’ll have to face the insult of going to a failing program like Cleveland or San Francisco, but are there winning teams out there willing to brave the considerable risk of injury?
John Elway knows a thing or two about quarterbacking, and his Denver Broncos have shown that they can take a twilight QB like Peyton Manning and put him in a position to win, but analysts disagree about how attractive a fragile, expensive Romo is next to Denver’s two developing prospects Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian. Still, the Broncos had a disappointing year after winning a championship, and their fans are eager to get some of that glory back as soon as possible.
The New York Jets haven’t enjoyed quite the success that Denver has of late, but they do offer a solid receiving core to provide targets for Romo, particularly with the return of Erik Decker in 2017. New York has experimented with elder statesmen in the past, picking up aging gunslinger Brett Favre at the age of 38.
Arizona and Chicago represent some other, albeit longshot, possibilities.
How Romo Could Stay in Dallas
Romo’s well-documented favorite-son status under Cowboys owner Jerry Jones could work in his advantage to help find him a good home on the field, but there’s always the potential for Romo to retire and remain with the Cowboys organization, as well. Romo would potentially take on a coaching role, and would have the chance to back up his words about wanting to be a mentor for Dak Prescott, who’s still young.
It seems unlikely that this scenario plays out, but considering Romo’s age things like a fractured clavicle are tough to come back from, so you can’t rule it out entirely. With an increasing number of players ending their careers early to avoid long-term health issues, this is a real possibility.
All of this is, of course, reliant on how the 2016 season ends. A single snap could turn the tables entirely and see Romo back on the field behind center, but right now all signs point to Prescott leading America’s team into the future and Tony Romo hanging his Cowboy hat somewhere else.