Tony Romo’s long tenure with the Cowboys will likely end Thursday. The Cowboys are discussing a trade with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans rather than making him a highly paid backup to Dak Prescott, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
A trade is not a sure thing, and Romo’s release is still a possibility. NFL Network’s James Palmer said it is his understanding that the Broncos aren’t interested in trading for the veteran signal caller.
Romo spent 13 seasons with Dallas, earning four Pro Bowl invitations and an All-Pro nod in the process. He arrived in Cowboys training camp as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Illinois, but eventually worked his way into the starting lineup after beating out Drew Bledsoe for the top spot in 2006. Once there, the only things that could derail him were injuries.
His four Pro Bowl seasons all drove Dallas to the playoffs, but his stellar record as a starter failed to hold up in the most important games of the year. Romo is 78-49 during the regular season, but just 2-4 in the playoffs. He was unable to lead the Cowboys past the Divisional round of the postseason despite winning three NFC East titles during his reign.
Though Romo will be 37 years old next fall, he’s just two years removed from his finest season in the NFL. The veteran led Dallas to a 12-4 record in 2014 while leading the league in passer rating, completion rate, and yards per pass. That 3,700-yard, 34-touchdown performance in 15 games was strong enough to earn him second-team All-Pro honors and set the foundation for a late-career revival in the Lone Star State.
Injuries prevented him from fulfilling that destiny. A broken collarbone stole the first half of his 2015 season, and though he rushed back in an attempt to save a lost season, another break in Week 12 limited his output to just four starts.
Things got worse in 2016. Romo suffered a broken bone in his back during the preseason, allowing fourth-round pick Prescott to take the reins. The Mississippi State product put together one of the finest performances ever assembled by a rookie quarterback, leading the Cowboys to the top seed in the NFC and essentially ending Romo’s tenure in Dallas as a result. Though Romo would return to throw four passes in a meaningless Week 17 loss, last fall was essentially a wash for the prestigious passer.
Either the Broncos or the Texans, with dominant defenses and some talent on offense, would be a good fit for Romo. He’ll get the chance to redeem himself in 2017.