The Cowboys have put their money where their faith is. If Tony Romo didn't feel pressure previously, he probably should now after getting a Joe Flacco-type deal.
Romo signed a six-year, $108 million contract extension, the seventh-highest maximum value for a contract in NFL history. Only four quarterbacks -- Michael Vick ($130 million), Flacco ($120 million) Carson Palmer ($119 million) and Donovan McNabb ($115 million) -- ever have had bigger deals. Flacco won the Super Bowl in February, and McNabb played in one.
In terms of guaranteed money, Romo's $55 million is the second-most in NFL history behind only Tom Brady and tied with Drew Brees. Brady and Brees have Super Bowl titles. Aaron Rodgers, who is negotiating an extension with the Packers that should trump them all, also has a Super Bowl win.
Romo has one playoff victory.
Though he is 55-38 as a starter since taking over for Drew Bledsoe in the middle of the 2006 season, Romo is only 17-21 the past three seasons combined. He is 1-3 in the postseason, and the Cowboys have not made the playoffs since 2009.
Romo, who turns 33 next month, knows the score.
"This is an organization that always gives us a chance to win, and that is always the main focus here," Romo said in a statement. "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.
Romo ranks first in team history in completion percentage (64.7) and touchdown passes (177). He is second in career attempts (3,240) and completions (2,097).
The Cowboys have great faith in him, believing he is their quarterback of not only the present but of the future. That is why they have compensated him like the franchise quarterback they believe he is.
Only time will tell if they are right, and Romo lives up to the legends of Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. Or if he is destined forever to be compared to Danny White.
"It can be a tough place to play," R.J. Gonser, Romo's agent, said. "There's a lot of bows thrown your way, and a there can be some criticisms as well. He thrives on that. He welcomes that. He embraces it."
-- Charean Williams