29 Mar 2013
The Dallas Cowboys have signed Tony Romo to a "six-year" extension (starting in 2014) for $108 million. It will significantly lower his 2013 cap number but also pay him $55 million guaranteed -- surprisingly, that's more guaranteed money than the Ravens gave Joe Flacco earlier this offseason. You'll hear a lot of crying and moaning about how Flacco is a winner and Romo only has won one playoff game in his career, but overall there's no question which player has been better over the past few years. Romo was seventh in DYAR and tenth in DVOA this year. (He's listed on our site as sixth/ninth, but he drops a spot with some end-season PBP changes.) Romo has been in the top 11 for quarterback DVOA every single year he's been in the NFL. Joe Flacco has never been in the top 11 for quarterback DVOA.
When they asked me at this year's Sloan Conference who was the most underrated player in the NFL, I said Romo. Not only is he one of the league's top quarterbacks, he also has an outstanding record in the fourth quarter of close games as long as those games are not on national television. (No, I don't know why he has his worst fourth quarters on the biggest stages.)
However, there is one issue with giving Romo all this money. He's going to be 33 this year, and his decline phase is likely to begin in the next year or two. Flacco is just 28, just about to hit his prime. I've always thought the idea that the Cowboys should get rid of Romo was ridiculous. And replace him with what? Are top-ten quarterbacks just floating around for free out there? However, seven years is an awful long time to have Romo on the books. There's going to be some serious dead cap money in the last couple years of this deal.
37 comments, Last at 05 Apr 2013, 11:41am by Mr Shush
Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?