Instant Debate

Tony Romo presents long-term dilemma for Dallas Cowboys

New information came to light Thursday when it was discovered that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo could become a free agent after the 2013 season if he doesn't have a new contract. The team and the quarterback reportedly are working on a new deal, but if you're Dallas, is he worth locking up for the foreseeable future? In the same vein as Tom Brady and New England, Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay or even Joe Flacco and Baltimore, is Tony Romo the long-term answer for the Cowboys?

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  • Ian Rapoport NFL Network
  • Romo is the guy to return the Cowboys to the postseason

The external view of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo differs greatly from the internal view. In the public eye, Romo is a liability, an un-clutch player. Inside Valley Ranch, he's the leader who carried that team for half of 2012. They are just waiting for the Cowboys and Romo to catch fire so they can show the world.

That's why, for Dallas, Romo is a player they must re-sign. He wants to re-sign with them, and it seems obvious it's going to get done. This news merely shifts leverage to Romo, giving him reason to command a little more.

For the Cowboys, who are still on the cusp of making the playoffs, Romo is the guy to make it happen. They need to move foward with him.

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  • Heath Evans NFL Network
  • Don't question Romo, but rather the decision-making around him

I love passionate people. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is passionate about our great game and he loves him some Dallas Cowboys football. But I believe that passion has blinded Jones to the realities of the power structure that needs to be implemented in Dallas -- before any real decision on Tony Romo's future is made.

I sypmathize with Jones' plight. I've been blinded to the truth before because of my passion. Dallas, operating without a true general manager, has been dysfunctional for a while now, and I believe Romo is a product of his environment. Look across the league and show me one consistently successful team that has the amount of owner input the Cowboys have.

We focus on Romo because he's the quarterback, but when you pop on the film, it's not just Romo. Every Cowboy who steps on the field on Sundays, coaches included, has consistent moments of "What the heck were you thinking?!?!"

Should you lock up Romo for the future? Absolutely. But he can't win by himself.

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  • Charley Casserly
  • Cowboys have no choice but to roll with Romo

The Cowboys have no choice but to sign Romo to a long-term deal. They do not have an alternative option right now and this year's draft does not give them a clear answer for the future.

Romo suffers from being a streaky quarterback. What would help Romo improve his play is better pass protection and a viable running game. Flanked by enough talented pass catchers already, Romo can be impressive at times, especially when he has time. Where he gets himself in trouble is when the plays breaks down and he scrambles and becomes too inconsistent in his decision making.

Romo's value is in the Matt Schaub area, around $13-14 million per season, though the money could end up higher with Romo holding the free agency leverage. If Romo were in the open market right now, you have to believe teams like the Cardinals, Bills and Jets would be chasing him aggressively.

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  • Jason Smith
  • Jon Kitna showed the Cowboys everything they needed to know

Romo is a great success story, but he's hit his head firmly on the ceiling of growth. This is who he is, and he's taken the Cowboys as far as he can. It's time for a change in Dallas. If you can't win a playoff game when you continually have great weapons around you, you're not the answer. It's not that Romo is underachieving, but for an undrafted guy out of a mid-major school, there's only so far you can go.

Two seasons ago when Romo was hurt, Jon Kitna, 54 years old at the time, put up similar statistics to Romo. That was the red flag for me -- why is Dallas paying Romo a billion dollars when a backup well past his prime can give you the same production?

The Cowboys are, and forever will be, in a win-now mode. What I do if I'm Dallas is draft my QB of the future while obtaining a hold-the-fort kind of guy for 2014 -- maybe someone who can come in as a backup now and potentially start next season, or sooner, like Matt Flynn or Colt McCoy.

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  • Adam Rank
  • Delusional Romo haters need to examine other QBs around the league

Tony Romo gets way too much blame for Dallas' woes. If you're a Cowboys fan and disappointed with Tony Romo as your quarterback, you should pop in the highlight reel of the 2012 Arizona Cardinals. Don't worry, it won't take very long.

It's almost a shame Romo's dad wasn't a middling NFL quarterback, because there would be no shortage of excuse-makers like those who defend Peyton Manning year after year for his inability to win.

But look at the alternatives, Cowboys fans. Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert and Tarvaris Jackson could end up as starting quarterbacks in Week 1. And you want to think about giving up on a guy who posts a passer rating above 90 each and every year? There is no way the Cowboys can let him go.

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  • Dave Dameshek
  • Romo has had his chances; now it's time for him to be Super

How long has Tony Romo been the starter of the Dallas Cowboys? When he got the gig in 2006, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were all in high school. Suri Cruise was born, Siri didn't exist, and a Superman reboot was released.

Yes, it's been a long time. But unlike the Superman movie franchise, Jerry Jones has not changed the man in the leading role. Not yet, anyway. In an era when most QBs get a quarter-and-a-half to prove their worth, Romo's had a half dozen years under center. During that time, he's done his best to overcome a subpar offensive line, an often-porous defense and some just plain bad luck. But facts are facts: It's a QB league, and he's the QB. He's been terrific for long stretches, but he's also thrown apocalyptically awful picks in some huge moments.

Enough's enough. Dallas can't have another season with a quarterback who sometimes looks like Clark Kent. It's time for Romo to be Super. Consistently. It's either up, up ... or away.

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