Battle for Tony Romo reportedly may be between TV networks or Texans

Tony Romo is due to make $14 million next season, but the Cowboys will likely release the quarterback.
Tony Romo is due to make $14 million next season, but the Cowboys will likely release the quarterback. AP

Friday was a busy day on the Tony Romo speculation front.

It followed a tweet Thursday from longtime Dallas-Fort Worth reporter and radio commentator Mike Fisher that the saga of the 37-year-old quarterback, still under contract to the Dallas Cowboys, could see some movement after this weekend.

Then ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, who was staked out Friday at Michigan’s pro day, tweeted that Romo’s future may be down to two choices. And one is bon voyage.

The expected tug of war between the Houston Texans and the Denver Broncos over Romo’s services once he is officially pried loose from poker player Jerry Jones’ vise-like grip has now given way to a possible wrestling match between Fox and CBS, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

Schefter had previously reported that Fox coveted Romo to fill the analyst seat vacated by John Lynch, the San Francisco 49ers’ new general manager.

KRLD’s Fisher had reported in the fall how Romo' friendship with Jim Nantz of CBS could lead to a football-golf gig with CBS.

The Broncos have said time and again they like their quarterback situation, and their choices of Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch seem more palatable than the Texans’ choosing between Tom Savage or Brandon Weeden.

Indeed, the Texans make a lot more sense than the Broncos for Romo, say ESPN analysts Mark Schlereth and Louis Riddick.

“The likely destination has to be Houston,” Riddick said recently on an ESPN NFL show. “What else makes sense?”

Houston is close to home for Romo, Riddick said, “plus you’re in a division (AFC South) that you’re going to win and face pass rushers that won’t put you under ground like they will in the AFC West.”

Schlereth said there’s a clear reason Jerry Jones hasn’t been able to wrangle a trade for Romo.

“I don’t think it’s so much that teams aren’t willing to give something up, whether it’s the Broncos or the Houston Texans,” he said. “They don’t want to be saddled with that contract.”

Romo’s contract has a salary of $14 million. If a team waits for Romo to be released, that contract, and number, goes away.

“Even if you say, hey, we’re gonna work out a new deal once we get you, there’s nothing to say Tony Romo won’t say, ‘I don’t feel like working out a new deal, you’re going to pay me this.’

“So, I think they’d give up a fourth-rounder, a sixth-rounder to give up Tony Romo, whatever it is, they just don’t want that contract in return.

“He’s going to get released, they know he’s going to get released.”

But Houston is the better landing spot over Denver, Schlereth firmly believes.

“Houston is a better team,” he said. “Offensively they’ve got better personnel, they’ve got a solid left tackle (Duane Brown), they’ve got a better offensive line, they’ve got a better tight end position, arguably man for man they’re just as good at the wide receiver position, and a better running back position, so they’re just a better team.

“And the No. 1 defense (that gets J.J. Watt back).”

The NFL owners meeting that convene Sunday in Phoenix may bring all the poker players, Jones, John Elway, the Texans brass, to one table, and one solution for an NFL quarterback milking the clock since March 9.