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Why Tony Romo's Retirement Might Affect Talks Between Kirk Cousins And The Redskins

The longtime Cowboys quarterback's decision for a broadcasting career over football takes a viable starter off the table, meaning QB-needy teams could come harder at the Redskins.

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We can stop pondering and discussing Tony Romo's NFL future. It's over. News broke Tuesday morning that the longtime Dallas Cowboys quarterback will retire following a series of injuries toward the end of his 13-year career.

With the news, we can somewhat return to pondering and discussing Kirk Cousins's future. 

No, the Cowboys don't want another quarterback. They're good to go with Dak Prescott. Other NFL teams on the other hand still need help and now one big name passer is off the table. Romo was frequently linked to the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos assuming the Cowboys waived the 36-year-old quarterback. 

Denver can lean on the young tandem of Trevor Siemien and Paxton Lynch. Houston traded Brock Osweiler, but Tom Savage took over as starter late last season. Maybe those options are viable for up-and-coming teams. True Super Bowl contenders like the Broncos and Texans might feel otherwise. 

That's why Cousins' situation remains interesting. Team president Bruce Allen has stated repeatedly this offseason of the franchise wanting to keep Cousins long-term. Sticking Cousins with a franchise tag for a second straight year ensures he'll at least be with Washington for 2017 at just under $25 million. The two sides have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. Otherwise, the Redskins risk losing Cousins in free agency in 2018 unless they go down the franchise tag path again at an even higher price tag.

“That’s why we franchised him,” Allen recently told “I can’t keep up with the rumors. Kirk and I have talked almost a dozen times this offseason, and we get to laugh when we hear these different rumors. We haven’t talked to anyone.”

Let's take Allen at his word. Everyone in football believes San Francisco head coach and former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan would love reuniting with Cousins. The 49ers are coming off a 2-14 season. They aren't worried about winning in 2017 so they can wait out the Redskins and perhaps sign Cousins without giving up compensation to Washington next year.

For the Broncos and Texans, patience isn't truly an option. Super Bowl windows aren't guaranteed and both are there now thanks to their respective defensive units. Denver won the Lombardi trophy in 2015, but didn't make the playoffs last year. It's overblown to suggest the green Siemien was too blame, but the former Day 3 draft pick wasn't a difference maker. Savage is interesting, but Houston won't have the QB in most (any?) of its games this season. 

Both teams could take a closer look at free agent options Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick or Ryan Fitzpatrick. They also might come to the same conclusions as other around the league: Cutler is too erratic, Kaepernick's game doesn't fit into standard offensive schemes, Fitzpatrick is a backup. 

If so, perhaps they circle back with Camp Cousins. If they get a sense that a long-term deal is possible, then perhaps Denver or Houston calls Washington with a significant trade package. Both teams have their 2017 first-round picks. The Broncos can offer Lynch, a round one choice last year. Maybe these teams showing real interest forces the 49ers to jump in now.

All of this is pure speculation. Until the Redskins give Kirk Cousins his Rod Tidwell moment by showing him the money, everything is worth considering.

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