Turn back the clock to 2007 when the Texans had just acquired Schaub from the Atlanta Falcons and proceeded to give him a contract of 6 years, $48 million. That was coming off of three years as a backup for the Falcons, during which his touchdown to interception ratio was tied at six. He had shown the potential to be a good NFL quarterback in his few starts in Atlanta and he has become one.
Six months later, the Cowboys had seen enough from Tony Romo’s start to the 2007 season, after he led them into the playoffs in 2006, to ink him to a new deal of 6 years and over $67 million.
Back then it seemed the Cowboys and Romo used Schaub’s contract as a gauge for their negotiations. In the end, it appeared that Schaub’s deal inflated the price to re-sign Tony Romo.
Then comes the news on Sunday that Schaub and the Texans agreed on an extension for 4 years and $62 million. Very convenient timing when it’s understood the Cowboys and Tony Romo are expected to work on an extension after this season.
For a moment, let’s compare the careers of Schaub and Romo.
For his Texans career, Schaub has thrown 92 touchdowns against 52 interceptions and has a QB rating of 93.5. He’s also only played a full season twice and led the Texans to one playoff appearance (I’m counting last year since it was mostly his doing) and a single division title.
Tony Romo’s stats for the exact same time period are 130 touchdowns thrown, 59 picks and a rating of 96.7. Romo has played three full seasons and led the Cowboys to two division titles and a playoff win.
Those are the facts.
Matt Schaub is a very nice quarterback, I’m not denying that at all. Tony Romo is a much better quarterback with better statistics. I’m not sure that point is debatable either.
Here it is five years later and it appears we are in the same spot. The 31-year old Schaub has been paid extremely well and has likely set up the parameters for the 32-year old Cowboys quarterback when his extension comes up.
Quarterbacks usually get overpaid and it looks like that’s what happened with Schaub, leaving the Cowboys in the position to overspend on Romo. It’s one thing for Drew Brees’ contract be your guide, it’s quite another when Matt Schaub gets the kind of money made by top tier signal callers.
I have no problem with Schaub getting paid but the issue is with the number 62. As in millions. He’s not likely to see all of the money with only about $30 million guaranteed but it still sets the bar for the Cowboys and Romo. The low bar.
You see there is a salary cap in the NFL and seeing that number should frighten Cowboys fans. They will pay Tony Romo, they have to, what are the other options? They haven’t groomed a quarterback since, well, Romo, and he knows it. So does his agent.
That’s why Matt Schaub’s new contract is such a big deal. The Cowboys will have to pay big money to keep Tony Romo, which will affect the team’s ability to sign free agents, including their own. You think they will be able to afford Anthony Spencer or Mike Jenkins after this year when they still need to extend their quarterback? OK, bad examples.
What about re-signing players like Sean Lee, Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith, and DeMarco Murray in the near future? Got your attention there didn’t I? The Cowboys need to find a way to make the best financial deal with Romo while keeping an eye on the future. That’s why Matt Schaub’s deal hurts.
Intentionally or not (probably not), the Houston Texans have stuck it to the Dallas Cowboys once again. The only person smiling is Tony Romo. And maybe his agent.
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