Tony Romo contract: Cowboys initiate informal extension discussion

USA TODAY Sports

Dallas is ready to give its franchise quarterback a contract extension.

The Dallas Cowboys might be an 8-8 team over the last two seasons, but they want their quarterback around for a few more years.

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said Wednesday the team and Tony Romo have begun discussing a contract extension, according to CBS Dallas:

"We have a great quarterback and he deserves to be paid,'' says Jones, characterizing the initial talks as "informal.'' "We have a good quarterback and we want to reward him. He's in the last year of a contract and our goal is to not let the quarterback run out of contract.''

Romo is entering the final year of a six-year, $67.5 million contract he signed before the 2008 season. The ninth-year quarterback out of Eastern Illinois is set to make $16.8 million this year -- his highest cap hit to date. He'll be the highest-paid player in 2013 on a team looking to shed salary.

If the Cowboys plan to give Romo a few more years, they could try to restructure his contract for 2013 and free up cap space in the process. Jones didn't say whether the team wanted to restructure the current contract.

KD Drummond of Blogging the Boys has already broken down what Romo's next contract could look like:

If Romo is to average $14.5 million a year, does that sound right to you? On a 5-year deal, you're looking at about $72.5 million total. To circle back to saving $8 million off of this year's cap hit ($17.2m), I'm guessing somewhere around a $12m signing bonus ($2.4 annual hit) with base salaries of $6.6m, $14.4m, $10m, $13m, $16.5m with the first two years guaranteed ($33m total). Then they'd rework the deal prior to next year to knock down the 2014 cap hit ($12m bonus, $2.4 base) and push more bonus money into future years.

Romo, 32, has been the team's starting quarterback since 2006. He hasn't led the Cowboys to a winning season since 2009, when the team went 11-5. Only twice in his seven years as a starter have the Cowboys won more than nine games.

In 2012, the three-time Pro Bowler led the Cowboys to their second straight 8-8 season. Romo completed 65 percent of his passes for a career-high 4,903 yards. He threw 28 touchdowns and a league-high 19 interceptions.

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