Tony Romo has scored a franchise record deal of $108 million as the Dallas Cowboys. The quarterback has set passing records since becoming the team’s starter in 2006.
“Absolutely, we feel that we can win a championship with Tony,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told USA TODAY Sports, while also confirming details of the contract, which takes effect in 2014 and is scheduled to run through 2019.
“We wouldn’t be doing all of this if we didn’t think we could win with him,” he added.
Romo, who will turn 33 next month, received a $25 million signing bonus. Set to earn a base salary of $11.5 million for 2013, Romo was scheduled to carry a $16.8 million salary cap number for this year. But the re-worked contract lowered his cap number for the upcoming season by $5 million.
“Tony has always considered himself a Cowboy for life,” Romo’s agent, R.J. Gonser, told USA TODAY Sports. “Now it’s a reality.”
The wow factor with Romo’s megapact — the new money averages $18 million per year — compared to an $11.25 million average salary in the previous contract is that the guaranteed portion exceeds the $52 million in guarantees that Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco secured from the Baltimore Ravens with his six-year, $120.6 million record contract earlier this month.
“Any contract, especially for a quarterback, influences the market,” Jones said.
The talks with Romo included an added element of intrigue: the possibility that he could have walked as a free agent next year.
Under his previous deal, a renegotiated contract executed in 2011, the final three years could have been voided without the option for the Cowboys to keep Romo’s rights with a franchise tag provided he was on the roster through the end of 2013.
Jones, though, contends that it was not an issue. He said that he was never concerned the talks would collapse to the point that Romo would leave. Gonser said he didn’t sense it would come to that, either.
Gonser led a team of CAA agents that included Ben Dogra, Jimmy Sexton and Tom Condon.”Any time you’re dealing with your quarterback, or another key player like that, it takes time,” Jones said. “It’s not a thing where you sit in a meeting for a couple of hours and get it done. You have to work through some things. It was just a matter of finding comfort for both sides and getting a fair deal.
“Of course, for Romo, there’s an added value — or burden — attached to being the face of arguably the NFL’s most high-profile franchise: the man is a magnet for debate.Heading into his 11th season, Romo has evolved from undrafted free agent to one of the NFL’s most productive passers.
He owns franchise records for career passing yards (25,475), touchdowns (174) and 400-yard games (4).