Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has signed a six-year, $108 million contract extension that will make him the highest-paid player in Cowboys history. Romo, who turns 33 on April 21, is guaranteed $55 million in the contract that includes a $25 million signing bonus.
Despite earning only one playoff win so far in his career and having a reputation for “choking” in must-win games, Romo deserves his lofty contract extension for several reasons.
First of all, Romo has consistently put up excellent numbers with the Cowboys, owning a career passer rating of 95.6, fourth among active quarterbacks, and a sparkling touchdown-interception ratio of 177-91. He also has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in three of the last four years, earning three Pro Bowl bids.
Furthermore, Romo has taken too much blame for the Cowboys’ poor performance in must-win games. He has had to deal with an atrocious offensive line and porous defense, especially in the secondary, and has still managed to lead the Cowboys to the playoffs twice in spite of them.
Also working in Romo’s favor is the indisputable fact that there is no other quarterback available in free agency or the upcoming draft that the Cowboys would even consider acquiring. Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco never had a prayer of leaving the Baltimore Ravens in free agency, and there is no other free agent in the same league as Romo.
The top two quarterbacks in this year’s NFL Draft, Geno Smith and Matt Barkley, are considered high-risk players who likely will never become as good as Romo. Even the established quarterbacks who have been traded, notably Alex Smith and Matt Flynn, have not had Romo’s consistent statistical excellence.
Lastly, the most prominent reason Romo deserves his money is simply because the market for top quarterbacks calls for a yearly salary between $15 million-25 million. Being an upper-echelon passer, Romo has earned the right to a nine-figure contract extension, and his past performance suggests that he will prove the Cowboys right in making this move.