Reporting Mike Fisher
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IRVING (105.3 THE FAN) – Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones pledged last week that fans should “stay tuned’’ on news of a long-term extension for quarterback Tony Romo.
The deal is done as of Friday afternoon, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones telling me it’s to the tune of Romo being given a six-year contract, $108-million that will make him the highest-paid player in franchise history.
“He is going to have high expectations,” Jerry Jones had said. “He is not going to be paid to be a bus driver.”
The deal includes $55 million guaranteed, the second largest guarantee in NFL history. Stephen Jones tells me the six years is in addition to 2013 — that is, it’s tacked onto his existing 2013 season’s pay. It total, then, the full agreement spans seven years and totals $119 million, for an average of $17 million per year.
Most immediately, the deal is important to Dallas gaining cap flexibility. The plan was to knock down Romo’s $16.8 million salary-cap figure by about half in order to allow the Cowboys to make other moves in free agency.
Both sides engaged in talks last summer but tabled them until this offseason.
That order of business is now done. Next comes ways to use the available money … and most important, after that comes ways for the three-time Pro Bowler Romo to earn his “non-bus-driver money’’ by helping Dallas to the postseason. Click here to listen to Tony Romo talk about his contract extension.
In a press release issued from the Dallas Cowboys on Friday, Tony Romo said:
“I want to thank the entire Jones family for believing and trusting in me to finish my career as a Dallas Cowboy. There will be no greater reward, besides winning a Super Bowl, than playing my entire career as a Dallas Cowboy.
I am excited about the year ahead and some of the changes that we have made to allow us to be a better team going forward. This is an organization that always gives us a chance to win, and that is always the main focus here. We haven’t had the type of success that we have all wanted the last few years, but I do know that we are on the verge of doing that. I have been around good teams and bad teams and our team is about to take that next step with a lot of things that are taking shape around Valley Ranch. Today just further instills that and I am excited about our team and the direction we are headed.
This football team that we have is a good team and with all the people we have coming back and the things we are doing behind the scenes, it will make us a very difficult ball club to beat. I am excited that ownership and the organization believes in me to get this job done.
Our goal is the Super Bowl and I am determined and honored to be the guy in this position to help our team do that.“
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