Originally posted on BlackSportsOnline  |  Last updated 3/30/13
There’s no doubt that Tony Romo has been under a microscope throughout his career as the starting quarterback of one of the NFL’s most popular teams.  The Cowboys just gave us all 108 million (or 55 million if you only want to count guaranteed money) more reasons to zoom-in. Much to the chagrin of many observers, the Cowboys from signed Romo to a six-year, $108 million contract extension that includes $55 million in guaranteed money on Friday. “Absolutely, we feel we can win a championship with Tony,” Cowboys Vice President Stephen Jones told USA Today (via CBSSports.com). “We wouldn’t be doing all of this if we didn’t think we could win with him.” We’ll find out if Jones and his father, Cowboys Owner/GM Jerry Jones will be rewarded for their faith soon enough, but there is a reasonable argument to support giving Romo this deal. With few alternatives available to them other than stumbling upon the right quarterback in the draft this year or next, and Joe Flacco’s deal already setting the market, the Cowboys chose to commit to Romo in hopes of staying relevant in the NFC East long enough to eventually breakthrough with a successful playoff run. In many ways I think the Cowboys’ move is analogous to the Atlanta Hawks’ decision to give Joe Johnson a $119 million dollar contract extension in 2010.  Like Romo’s deal, Johnson’s deal was met with plenty of criticism. Johnson was 29 when he signed his deal, and in NBA years that’s similar to where Romo is now as a soon to be 33-year old starting quarterback in the NFL.  Moreover, Johnson’s Hawks were a fringe playoff team like Romo’s Cowboys, having been swept out of the playoffs in the second round in consecutive seasons prior to Johnson getting his extension. In addition, many would argue that Romo’s value to the Cowboys exceeds his value on the open market the way that Johnson’s value to the Hawks exceeded his. Hawks’ management made a choice that was very similar to the one that Jerry Jones’ Cowboys just made when they decided to re-sign Johnson: they opted to avoid risking falling into the NBA’s draft lottery in favor of maintaining their status as a fringe playoff team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Even though the Hawks (with a new GM) eventually decided to get rid of Johnson’s contract in an effort to free up cap space, one key distinction (other than the fact that NFL contracts aren’t fully-guaranteed like NBA deals) between the two moves is that being a fringe playoff team in today’s NFL is a lot different than being a fringe playoff team in the NBA. The NBA hasn’t seen a playoff team seeded lower than third win a championship since the sixth-seeded Houston Rockets in 1995.  Meanwhile, the 2011 New York Giants won the Super Bowl following a 9-7 regular season and the sixth-seeded Green Bay Packers won a title as a wildcard team in 2010. Even though Romo has led the Cowboys to a pedestrian 16-16 mark over the last two seasons, Dallas was only a game away from getting into the postseason in 2011 and 2012.  As New York and Green Bay have recently demonstrated, once a team gets into the playoffs, anything can happen. Given that context, perhaps the Cowboys didn’t necessarily embrace mediocrity when they extended Romo. “We’ve always looked at him as a great quarterback,” Jones said. “He wants to win a championship as much as anybody.” Despite his shortcomings, Dallas has decided to bet $55 million in guaranteed money on Romo and his 55-38 career regular season record getting them into January and stringing together three of four wins over facing an uncertain future at the most important position in football. If the Cowboys are wrong, they’ll likely be set back even further than they would have been if they had decided to move on from the Romo era after next season. If they’re right, Jerry Jones will end up having a Mastercard-like “priceless” moment when he hoist up the Lombardi trophy next to the highest paid player in Cowboys history.                            
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

Report: Eric Berry planning to no-show training camp

Eagles could have interest in Gordon if Browns trade him

Report: Fitzpatrick, Jets not likely to have deal before camp

Report: Anquan Boldin signs one-year deal with Detroit Lions

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Formula One CEO's mother-in-law kidnapped in Brazil

Gregory going to treatment after another drug violation

Mike McCarthy ends weight talk, declares Eddie Lacy ‘ready’

Report: Redskins have discussed possibly signing Hardy

Kimbo Slice’s son set to make MMA debut

Did Bell miss drug tests due to changed phone number?

A look at the trade market for center fielders

Tyler Johnson 'threw up a couple of times' over $50M deal

Should the Yankees hold a fire sale?

Five young soccer players to keep an eye on at Rio Olympics

Conor McGregor's coach predicts result of Nate Diaz rematch

Jordy Nelson starts camp on PUP list, no reason for panic?

Mark Dantonio denies MSU negatively recruits against PSU

Brett Favre selects wife Deanna as his Hall of Fame presenter

Durant shopped for OKC home week before joining Warriors?

Jarron, Jason Collins speak in support of LGBTQ rights at DNC

Von Miller has some wild thoughts about human evolution

The crowning achievement of Sasha Banks

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker