The Cowboys began talks with quarterback Tony Romo on a long-term contract extension earlier this season, according to a source, but tabled them until the off-season at the player's request.
The source said both sides will resume talks in the spring in hopes of getting a deal done before the 2013 season. Romo is set to count $16.8 million against the 2013 cap, with an $11.5 million base salary, in the final year of his deal.
The source also said the Cowboys current salary-cap issues as a result of being docked $5 million by the league in 2012 and 2013 for violating the spirit of the cap in the uncapped season of 2010 will have no bearing on the negotiations. The Cowboys have enough flexibility to get a deal done with Romo any time they want, the source said.
The only question is how much and for how long.
And waiting seems like a good thing for Romo, considering his terrible start to the season and the filthy groove he has going now.
After throwing four interceptions and getting booed in a loss to the Giants at Cowboys Stadium on Oct. 28, Romo was seemingly at his worst. He had nine touchdowns and a league-high 13 interceptions on the season as the Cowboys were floundering at 3-4.
Since then, Romo has thrown 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions in his last five games, including Sunday's near-perfect performance against the Eagles when he completed 22 of 27 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns on 10 of 10 passing the second half alone.
"He is certainly playing well and I thought he did an outstanding job in the game last night," coach Jason Garrett said. "He made so many good decisions. He threw the ball short. He threw the ball deep. He made plays down the field in critical moments. He made plays in the red zone. He made plays with his feet. He checked down when he needed to check down. He was really on top of his game. I know he did that last night. I know he has been doing that a lot lately."
"Anybody who has watched him play know he is a great competitor," Garrett continued. "When he has success he is going to keep going. When it doesn't go well. He is going to keep going and battle through it.That is his nature. That is one of the reason he is such a good quarterback."
That is the reason the Cowboys are not going to give up on him and why they will sign him to a long-term extension on the off season, no matter the love-hate relationship many Cowboys fans have with him.
-- Clarence Hill