Many Dallas Cowboys fans called for Tony Romo’s dismissal after the 2012 season, but it appears team management has chosen not to listen.
According to a report by ESPN Dallas, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones wants to sign Romo to a long-term extension.
The seven-year veteran quarterback had an up and down season in 2012, with a career-high 4,903 passing yards and 19 interceptions.
"Tony is a key piece of what we're about going forward," Jones said to ESPN Dallas. "We're certainly going to be looking at his situation (in) time. We've historically (extended contracts) with quarterbacks for the Dallas Cowboys ahead of time. We did it with Troy (Aikman) and we certainly want to look at that with Tony so we can all move forward in terms of how we want to play around our salary cap with our team. Tony is the key piece in terms of how your cap is represented."
How much and how long the contract extension will be remains uncertain. Romo will enter the final season of a six-year deal worth $67.4 million, and will make $11.5 million next season. The report also states Dallas is $20 million over the $121 million cap, and will have to find a way to get under.
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During the first five games of the season, Romo tossed eight interceptions, including five picks against the Chicago Bears. Overall, the 32-year-old had four games with more than one interception, and his poor play late in Dallas' Week 17 loss to the Washington Redskins cost the Cowboys their first trip the playoffs since 2009.
Still Romo ranks first all-time in passing touchdowns and second in passing yards in Dallas history.
The Cowboys may have perused the list of free agent quarterbacks, and decided Romo was still their best option. Those available that have enough experience are well past their prime, like Pittsburgh’s Charlie Batch. Other possible quarterback replacements also may have a poor record as a starter, like seven-year veteran Derek Anderson.
Romo also dropped back a career-high 648 times, the third most in the NFL, while Dallas fielded the NFL's worst rushing offense with 79.1 yards per game.