I never thought there would be a day when I would write a Tony Romo column that did not lead with “Romo is the worst quarterback in the NFL,” but today turns out to be that day. I blame the snow. With the Dallas Cowboys putting their eggs in the Zeke/Dak basket, Romo seems to be destined for a new franchise, and his move could be the defining move of the 2017 offseason.
For years, Romo has been a capable quarterback in the NFC East. He led a 12-4 Cowboy team to the playoffs in the 2014 season which was a Dez catch/no catch away from the conference championship game. As an undrafted free agent, Romo has had an extremely successful career, since 2006, he has held the highest passer rating in the fourth quarter, higher than any other NFL quarterback. He also has the Cowboys’ team record for most games with at least 300 passing yards and games with three or more touchdown passes.
The knock on Romo in his career has been his ability to stay healthy and his success in the postseason, as he is two for six in playoff games behind center and he has only played in 35 of the Cowboys’ last 64 games. Before Romo is able to move on, the Cowboys would have to release him or trade him, as he has a contract that expires in 2019 and includes him being paid 14 million next season and 40 million over the final season.
If he is released, he will have his options as to where he wants to go. There are five logical options for him, in my opinion. Before we get into some likely destinations, there are a few teams to rule out: the Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs and the Washington Redskins.
To start in reverse, the Redskins would be silly not to resign Kirk Cousins as he had a fantastic past two seasons and is younger and less injury-prone then the aging Romo. Just like I am skeptical of the Redskins moving away from Cousins, I am skeptical that the Chiefs would move away from Smith, since he has been a stable presence for the Chiefs who have made some real noise in the AFC the last few seasons. Despite being only 1-3 in the playoffs, I do not think Romo would be that much of again over the stable Smith.
The Texans, despite making the playoffs, seemed extremely unhappy with Osweiler behind center as he seemed to disappear for several minutes each game. I rule them out because they have a lot of money roped into Brock, including $16 million for next season, and I see them waiting until the 2018 season to make a move. As for the Browns, I think they rule themselves out as they are so bad and if Romo wanted to win, he has a better chance of winning the NFL championship playing for the Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers or even the UConn Huskies than for Cleveland.
As for where I think Romo will go, I think it is between the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills and the Denver Broncos. The first three teams all do not have clear cut franchise quarterbacks, or even capable quarterbacks in my opinion, so Romo would be able to slide in and lead the teams to a few wins. In terms of winning, the Bears, Jets and 49ers seem to be a few years away as each team are not destined for the Super Bowl anytime soon.
The Buffalo Bills are an extremely interesting team, as they have a top-tier running back with LeSean McCoy and a young wide receiver in Sammy Watkins. The Bills will most likely not pick up Tyrod Taylor’s option for next year, as the Bills seem to be a quarterback and a free agent or two away from competing in the playoffs. Romo might be the piece Buffalo needs to end the playoff curse, as no one circles the wagons like the Bills.
Last but not least is the Denver Broncos. If Romo wanted to win and if Denver wanted to return to the playoffs, this would be a perfect fit. Last season with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, the Broncos seemed stagnant on offense. They had a top-flight defense that was unable play both sides of the ball. The question is, will the Broncos once again sign an older quarterback as a short term fix?
I think the Broncos would be crazy not to honestly consider signing Romo, but if they do not, I will always make the case for them to resign Tim Tebow, as the dude can flat out ball and has only one less playoff win than Romo does.
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.