Tony Romo has been one of the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL during his career, but since he has not been successful in the playoffs, there is a chance the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones could decide to get rid of him in a trade for Tim Tebow or another backup like Alex Smith or Matt Flynn.
Romo and the team are currently working on a long-term extension, but if the two sides cannot come to an agreement, the Cowboys could decide to trade the quarterback for a younger player or draft picks. The team has always been supportive of Romo and while he has put up stellar regular season numbers, he has failed the team when the games meant the most, including with division clinching games and in the playoffs.
The team would have a number of options in trading Romo, since he is relatively young and has been solid for a number of years. The Cowboys could take a chance on the younger Alex Smith or even Matt Flynn, but another option could be Brandon Weeden on the Cleveland Browns or heck, Tim Tebow on the New York Jets.
Jerry Jones has done crazier things in the past and he said at the end of last season that he wanted to shake things up at team headquarters and he has done so.
Rob Ryan was fired as defensive coordinator and there have been some issues with the playcalling duties between head coach Jason Garrett and assistant Bill Callahan. The team also brought in former Tennessee coach Derek Dooley to work with the wide receivers, something that could benefit Romo if he sticks around.
Last week news came out that contract talks have yet to begin between Romo and the team and that the quarterbacks agent previously suspended talks during the 2012 season so there wouldn't be any distractions. Some choices for the team include placing the franchise tag on Romo in 2014 without signing him to a long-term deal, which would buy time, but would cost about $15 million, meaning he would be over $20 million against the salary cap, according to ESPN.com.
Romo is entering the final year of his contract and will be making $11.5 million with a cap figure of $16.8 million, the most on the roster. Romo has statistics that put him as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL over the past five seasons and his resume should net him between $13 to $15 million per year with Dallas or wherever he ends up signing.
The quarterback originally worked out a new contract with the team a few years ago to add voidable years to make the cap numbers lower, according to ESPN.com. Romo has the leverage on the Cowboys after the restructuring of his deal two years ago and it is unlikely that they will allow him to play out his contract because he will cost $8.181 million on the cap in 2014 if the other years void.
Romo originally had a six-year, $67.5 million contract extension with $28.5 million guaranteed and his new deal could come in between four and five years in length and should be above the $62 million contract extension the Texans gave Matt Schaub last year.
"Tony is a key piece of what we're about going forward," said Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones to ESPN.com. "We're certainly going to be looking at his situation (in) time. "We've historically (extended contracts) with quarterbacks for the Dallas Cowboys ahead of time. We did it with Troy (Aikman) and we certainly want to look at that with Tony so we can all move forward in terms of how we want to play around our salary cap with our team. Tony is the key piece in terms of how your cap is represented."
Dallas had another disappointing season, finishing 8-8 and out of the playoffs after losing the final game of the season. The previous year the Cowboys also lost out on winning the NFC East by losing to the Giants, who went on to win the Super Bowl. The team was inconsistent all season, starting off with a 2-3 record.
The team had some close losses in the middle of the year and rebounded with five wins in six games before dropping the final two against the Saints and Redskins. Romo passed for 4,903 yards and 28 touchdowns in a very productive season, but in the biggest game of the year against Washington, he passed for 218 yards and three interceptions.
It would be crazy for Jones to trade Romo for Tebow, but if he can't bring the Cowboys to the playoffs and an extension can't be reached, it could be a possibility.