NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that the team is now trying to see if they can trade the veteran quarterback instead of releasing him.
With mere hours to go ahead of today's 4 p.m. ET launch to free agency, the obvious targets for a trade boil down to the Texans and Broncos. No signal from either team, though, suggests that a swap is about to go down.
"Right now the Cowboys, I am told, are simply keeping their options open," Rapoport said during today's edition of Free Agency Frenzy. "Not ready to release him just yet. They're trying to see if they can possibly get some compensation for Tony Romo, now that it's very clear that the Houston Texans would be interested, the Denver Broncos would potentially be interested, so they want to see if they can get some value for Romo and make sure that, wherever he goes, that it is going to be his choice."
Said Rapoport: "From what I understand, it is Jerry Jones, it is Tony Romo, having these discussions, trying to figure out how they're going to proceed and where he wants to go. Nothing has actually happened, but this is about the team, the Cowboys, keeping open the lines of communication, waiting to see if they can possibly get any value for Romo."
No matter the method of his departure, Romo said goodbye Thursday.
There's no specific deadline attached to trading Romo, but the Cowboys, ideally, would love to pit suitors against each other. NFL Network's James Palmer made it clear, though, that the Broncos aren't about to get involved in a showdown for the quarterback's services.
"This really isn't the case coming out of the (Broncos') building. This is not really what they see happening in terms of trading for Tony Romo," Palmer said from Denver. "It appears, from what I'm told, to be somewhat of agent speculation, maybe something on the outside of this building about a potential trade."
If the Cowboys do find a trade partner, Romo still remains a strong bet to redo his contract from scratch once he lands with a new team.
Barring an unlikely swap, look for Romo to take his time picking a new home in the NFL.
No matter how this goes down, the Cowboys are committed to helping their loyal signal-caller wind up somewhere he feels welcome.