Tony Romo is not going anywhere. Despite a back injury that cost him the final game of 2013, Romo says he is ready to go and wants to play the five more years for which he is already contracted by the Dallas Cowboys, per NFL.com's Dan Hanzus:
"There's no question in my mind, not only am I going to be able to make it through 16 games, I'll make it through another five years," Romo said Wednesday on KRLD-FM (via the Forth Worth Star-Telegram).
Romo has been a lightning rod in Dallas, leading the team to only one playoff win since taking over the quarterback role from Drew Bledsoe back in 2006. Despite having his second back surgery in the span of two years, Romo claims he will be ready for training camp when July rolls around:
"Backs eventually just continue to get better and better and better, and all of a sudden you're 100 percent. We're coming up on that pretty soon. Within the next month, there's no question we'll be 100 percent. Hopefully it's in the next week or two, which is a viable and serious time that it could happen in."
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Currently 34 years old, Romo is talking about rarefied air if he can actually play until he's 39. The most notable signal-callers to reach that age include Brett Favre, George Blanda, Johnny Unitas, Sonny Jurgensen, Len Dawson, Warren Moon, Steve DeBerg, Jim Hart and Earl Morrall. However, almost all were either part-time players or benchwarmers by that time.
In Unitas' age 39 season, he only started five games in his final campaign with the Baltimore Colts. Dawson threw only seven touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions. DeBerg was a backup and Jurgensen only played in four games. For Blanda, who played until he was 48, was in the final year for him as a quarterback, tossing 17 touchdowns against 21 interceptions.
On the positive side, Moon lit it up for the Minnesota Vikings, throwing 33 touchdowns and starting every game. Then there is Favre, who still had 10,183 passing yards ahead of him and a trip to the NFC title game.
Should Romo last five more seasons with good health, he will likely be vaulted into lofty company. Through the end of last season, Romo has thrown for 29,565 yards and 208 touchdowns over 115 regular season games. An average game for Romo in his career is 257 yards and 1.81 touchdown passes.
Five years worth of games would be another 80, but let's say he plays 75. At his current pace, that will leave him with 48,840 yards and 344 touchdowns. Romo currently ranks 42nd and 31st all-time in those categories, but those projections would have him sixth and eighth all-time. No other current player is a lock to reach those plateaus if they have not already.
Should he hit those marks, the only players above him are either already in the Hall of Fame or mortal locks to be enshrined in Canton (Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Favre). If he reaches those numbers, Romo would certainly be in the Hall of Fame conversation if nothing else. So the question would be does he end up with a gold jacket or treated as a Vinny Testaverde/Kerry Collins type who is good but not cutting it in Canton.