Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones informed Tony Romo that the team is interested in him signing an extension to remain the team’s starting quarterback for the foreseeable.
The Cowboys want to get the deal done because Romo’s cap number balloons from $8 million to $16 million next season and his contract expires at the end of 2013. Needless to say, it’s going to take a good chunk of change to compensate the quarterback who owns the second highest rating in NFL history.
The misconception, however, is that Romo isn’t “clutch,” as many of his critics will attest to. Since 2008, the Cowboys’ signal caller has thrown a remarkable 30 touchdowns to only eight interceptions in the fourth quarter. Throw in that Romo has led 13 fourth-quarter comebacks and 14 game-winning drives and that whole “not clutch” label can be tossed out the window.
Since 2008, Romo’s game hasn’t faltered at the end of either half, as some of his critics would have you believe. In fact, Romo owns the fourth best passer rating in the final two minutes of the half at 91.7. In 2011, Romo finished with 10 touchdowns with only two interceptions in the final minutes of the game.
There are also those who believe that Romo is a turnover machine that throws interceptions left and right. In the previous two seasons, Romo threw 17 interceptions on 725 passing attempts. Compare that to Eli Manning’s 41 interceptions during that same stretch of time and you’ll see that Romo isn’t as bad a decision maker as his critics make him out to be.
Yes, Romo is 1-3 in the playoffs, but he boasts an impressive 4:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio and he hasn’t had a defense that could hold the lead in the fourth quarter. In 2011 alone, the defense blew five fourth-quarter leads. That 1-3 record would probably mean more if football were an individual sport, but it’s not.
In 2011 Romo turned in, statistically, his best season as a pro behind a 66.3 completion percentage rating, 4,184 yards, 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Romo is on pace this season to break Troy Aikman’s all-time Cowboys passing touchdown record of 165. He has played 84 career games as the Cowboys starting quarterback and has 153 career touchdowns; Aikman played in 165 games.
Romo’s previous contract, which he signed in October 2007, was for $67.4 million over six years, so even though he says he hasn’t thought about it, chances are that a deal could be in the works. The new CBA allows teams to convert much of the players’ salaries into signing bonuses, which means Romo could be in for a huge payday.
Michael Vick‘s (six years $100 million/ $40 million guaranteed) and Kevin Kolb‘s ( five years $63 million/$21 million guaranteed) deals are just two of the huge contracts being given out for signal callers. Taking that into consideration, I can see the Cowboys giving Romo a five-year deal in the range of $85-90 million with about $45-50 million guaranteed.
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