Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 2/13/13

The probability remains high that Tony Romo finishes his playing career in Big D.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones deemed Romo a "key piece" of the team's plans, and will look to sign the 32-year-old to a long-term contract extension.

"Tony is a key piece of what we're about going forward," Jones said, via ESPNDallas.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."

Entering the final year of his contract, Romo is due to earn $11.5 million in base salary. His $16.8 million cap figure, highest of any Cowboys player, is a detriment to a club that projects to be $20 million over the league's $121 million salary cap.

There's a sense of urgency to get a deal done, but Jones isn't ready to push the panic button.

"I don't feel pressed," Jones said. "I don't think we've ever felt pressed with Tony. He's been a great partner. As I said, your quarterback, even when you have a good one and we're certainly lucky to have one of the best, is going to represent a good piece of your salary cap. How you manage that is important. He understands that and we do, too."

Romo is expected to receive "at least" $12 million annually on a likely three- to five-year pact. Despite the amount of (justifiable) criticism he takes, Romo appears in it for the long haul. Buckle in, Cowboys fans.

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