The Tony Romo 'Retirement' Cap Trick The Cowboys Simply Must Use

The Tony Romo 'Retirement' Cap Trick The Cowboys Simply Must Use (And If They Do, It Means He's Not Technically 'Done' Yet)

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is planning to leave the football field for a career in broadcasting, a consideration in his camp since November that comes to fruition now as the Cowboys are set to release him.

From Romo’s perspective, I’ve long known of the interest he’s drawn from FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN and the NFL Network. I'm told he’s already made his choice there; stay tuned.

From the Cowboys’ perspective, there are “asset management’’ issues to resolve. An example: There is wisdom in keeping Romo on the active roster until June 1 and then pulling the trigger on his move to the “Reserve/Retired’’ list. That way they retain his rights in the unlikely event he desires a return to the field, and they also get the benefit of the $14 million in cap space they gain with the June 1 cut designation.

Dallas would no longer pay Romo, but would still “owe’’ the cap $19.6 million of dead money, which would  count $10.7 million against the cap in '17 and $8.9 million next season.

But the timing of such a transaction -- should Dallas wish to have its cake and eat it, too -- is tricky.

Technically, the Cowboys should NOT release Romo today. Oh, they can announce his release and hold a press conference and plan a goodbye parade. But to get the full value of Romo as an asset (something they tried and failed to do via trade talks that never came to fruition), the Cowboys should keep Romo on the 90-man roster until June 2, and should OFFICIALLY release him only then ... and his new designation should be membership on the "Reserved/Retired List.'' That's the only way to both reap the $14-mil benefits of the June 1 designation AND retain the rights to Romo should he desire a return to a playing career.

Only owner Jerry Jones and Romo himself know exactly how this will unfold (and I say that literally; they've been highly hands-on here and other voices here inside The Star in Frisco have not been involved in this part of the decision). But I can tell you how it SHOULD unfold: With Tony Romo's retirement announcement whenever he pleases ... today, or never ... but with the Cowboys' shuffle of him to the "Reserved/Retired List'' being planned now and being executed on June 2.


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