The former undrafted and unwanted quarterback from tiny Eastern Illinois is now the Cowboys' franchise quarterback, following the legacy of Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.
"It is a feel-good story. To me, it's a continuing great story,"
coach Wade Phillips said. "The best part of the story is he's a great
person, a great guy to be around. He doesn't have an ego bigger than the
team. The great ones I've been around -- the John Elways, the Jim Kellys
-- it's the same way. It's appreciated by the coach."
Romo's deal is the second richest in Cowboys history following the
nine-year, $85.5 million deal Aikman signed in 1999.
It includes $31 million in guaranteed money over the first three
years of the deal.
That is the most ever for a Cowboys player.
It doesn't surpass Leonard Davis' team record $16 million signing
But Romo, who got an $11.5 million signing bonus along with $4.5
million added to his $1.5 million base salary, will take home $17.5
million this season.
His average of $11.25 million per year is also the most ever for a
It is the third best yearly compensation package in the league behind
Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning and Cincinnati quarterback
"The best feeling by far is to know the organization, the Jones
family and our coaches and everyone say, 'Hey, you're our guy,'" Romo
said. "That means everything, more than the money ever could. I'm just
excited to be here for a long time."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Romo is the face of the franchise as
the team goes forward. He said he signed Romo to a huge deal because he
believes Romo is the cornerstone of what Jones believes will be a long
run of success as the Cowboys prepare to move into a new $1 billion
stadium in 2009.
The Cowboys are set to play host to the 2011 Super Bowl.
Jones said Romo gives the Cowboys the chance to be Super Bowl
champions if not this year then sometime in the future.
"He's the man for the 2000s," Jones said. "I wouldn't have done this
if I didn't think he gives us a chance to win Super Bowls."
--WR Patrick Crayton is next up on the list of Cowboys who are in
line for a contract extension. Crayton will be an unrestricted free
agent at the end of the season. With Terrell Owens turning 34 in
December and Terry Glenn's future in doubt, keeping Crayton is becoming
a must for the Cowboys.
--RB Marion Barber's breakout season might force the Cowboys to take
a closer look at his contract. He will be a restricted free agent. But
keep in mind he hired Drew Rosenhaus as his agent in the offseason. The
Cowboys can put a high tender on Barber but that might not shy teams
away from taking a look at him. If he continues to perform he could be
worth two high draft picks. There is no question Rosenhaus will shop
--CB Terence Newman's contract is up in 2008, but he was in line for
a contract extension before suffering a partially torn plantar fascia in
training camp. The Cowboys can now wait until he's healthy to address
his contract. That likely won't be until next year. But he is a player
who the Cowboys consider as a franchise cornerstone for the future. So
they will probably get something done before he gets a chance to hit the
free agent market -- like they did with quarterback Tony Romo this
season, and tight end Jason Witten, safety Roy Williams and linebacker
Bradie James last season -- as long as Newman returns to health.
--CB Anthony Henry said he's good to go for the Eagles game on
Sunday. He believes he can play in nickel situations after missing the
past three games with a high ankle sprain. But Cowboys coach Wade
Phillips said he won't know for sure about Henry until he sees him
perform on the practice field Wednesday and Thursday. He said he knows
Henry can run straight ahead. Phillips wants to see if Henry can run
laterally so he can keep up with receivers.
--QB Tony Romo was fined $5,000 by the league for unnecessary
roughness in the Vikings game. In an attempt to avoid to oncoming
blockers following a fumble, Romo went low. NFL rules prohibit blocking
below the waist following a change of possession.
Romo was actually injured on the play, suffering a strained
hamstring. He also was injured in his wallet. Following the six-year,
$67.5 million contract extension, it won't be too much.
--TE Jason Witten was honored as a Tennessee legend during the
Volunteers game against the South Carolina Gamecocks last weekend.
Witten said he was honored but that it made him feel old.
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