Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo scrambles with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. The Cowboys defeated the Redskins 24-23. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
To those who stubbornly label Tony Romo a “choker,” don’t look now but he’s saved the Cowboys. Again.
Well, not to be too dramatic, but the quarterback has agreed to a restructuring of his contract that will get the team within $1 million of the NFL’s salary cap. Dallas has until March 14 to get under the $133 million cap, and with this move it becomes nothing more than a logistical layup.
It doesn’t mean the Cowboys can now be big spenders in free agency, and it doesn’t mean their Rob-Peter-to-Pay-Paul system will start being taught in Economics 101. It’s a risky, short-sighted business plan to keep opening credit cards to pay off other credit-card bills.
But, alas, the Cowboys and their fans just need to be happy they have Romo and his contract for an option.
Of course, this wasn’t some light-bulb moment that dawned on Jerry and Stephen Jones late last night. When the team signed Romo to the six-year, $108 million contract extension last Spring one of the benefits was the restructuring in year No. 2. I won’t clutter your brain with financial wizardry, but simply put the Cowboys are merely designating more of his base salary as “signing bonus,” meaning his salary number against next year’s cap will dwindle from $21 million to $11 million, saving the team $10 million and allowing them to keep the lights on at least another year. The paperwork shuffle also doesn't wind up costing Romo a nickel.
While Romo’s contract is helping the Cowboys remain financially stable, all reports are that his recovery from December back surgery is on schedule as well and that he should be a full participant when the team’s off-season workouts begin April 21.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.