Antonio Ramiro “Tony” Romo is a good player, but not good enough to merit the most lucrative contract in the history of the Dallas Cowboys franchise. By the time his contract expires, he will be 38 years old, and he is simply not worth $108 million at this point in his career.
The extraordinary amount of money might be merited for a consistently solid player, even a relatively older one, but Romo has a reputation of not delivering in his team’s time of need. Breaking records is useless if he can’t do it when it’s most important.
For almost any other player, 32 would be very old. It is less unusual for a quarterback, but he is quickly moving past his prime. The Cowboys are historically underachievers, and signing on for more of the same for the next six years is not the best way to turn that around. New blood is what the Cowboys need to reach their potential.
It is odd that this deal comes after a season where the Cowboys failed to make it into the playoffs. In the crucial game against the Washington Redskins in December, Romo threw three interceptions, demonstrating his inability to perform under pressure.
Romo has led his team to the playoffs in the past, which is good, but never to a come-from-behind victory, which is just not good enough. The Cowboys should spend their money recruiting and cultivating players who can bring them all the way.
Six years is a long time for a player with a history of injuries. Romo has broken his pinky, clavicle and ribs and pierced his lung. These injuries will most likely plague him as he ages, and there is a good chance that these won’t be the last of his injuries. He is not going to get any younger or spryer, and it is hard to imagine the Cowboys getting a return on their investment.
His career stats are impressive, but last year he threw 19 interceptions. His 90.5 quarterback rating in the 2012 season was also the lowest it’s ever been. It seems unlikely that this will improve with age. He’s thrown an impressive number of yards, but he’s won only one playoff game in his entire career.
Even if he drinks from the Fountain of Youth and somehow manages to throw 8,000 yards next year, it will still be all for nothing if the Cowboys can’t manage to even make the playoffs under his leadership.