Jerry Jones and the NFL’s other 31 owners convened recently in Phoenix for their annual meetings. Here are a few things we learned (or might have learned, or don’t really know) about the Cowboys from March 26-29.
No timetable for a Romo resolution
Cowboys OTAs start April 17 and the draft is April 27-29. The team’s mandatory minicamp is in mid-June, and training camp starts in July. But Jerry Jones maintains there is no timetable for resolving the Tony Romo situation.
“There’s no waiting game,” Jones said. “This is the offseason. We’re not missing doing anything. From the standpoint of the franchise and the Cowboys, nothing is being held up here at all. We don’t have anything imminent that’s pushing us.”
Moments later, Jones indicated to a national reporter that Romo’s status needs to be resolved before training camp.
No bad blood between Jerry and Tony
Jerry Jones has always had great affection for Romo.
You may remember the Cowboys even tailored their offense to be Romo friendly at one point.
And Jones says his relationship with the soon-to-be 37-year-old quarterback is just fine, thank you. “We’re on great terms,” Jones said. “But I certainly don’t want to represent anything as to how he feels. But I feel good about how we’re doing, we being the Cowboys, me and Tony. I feel very good about it.”
What about that do-right rule Jones famously announced during the scouting combine in Indianapolis last month. Are the Cowboys living up to it regarding Romo?
“Absolutely, yes, absolutely,” Jones said. “I’m completely satisfied with how he’s doing and I have no reason to believe he’s not satisfied with how I’m doing.”
No doubt Romo can still play and be effective
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett does not know for sure whether Tony Romo wants to continue his career, but Garrett does know a healthy No. 9 is still more than capable.
“Tony’s been a great football player in this league for a long time,” Garrett said. “He’s been a great football player for our organization. He can play the game at a high level. He played one series this past year for us and was very productive like he has been throughout his career.
“Durability has been an issue the last couple years. So nobody really knows how he can handle the course of a 16-game season, but that’s true for everybody. “
No ship has sailed
Is the Tony Romo era over in Dallas? Is there any way he could return to America’s Team in 2017?
“No ship has sailed,” Jones said. “No ship has sailed. It’s just like it was when the season was over. There is no ship that has sailed as far as I’m aware of regarding his multiple opportunities.”
So, just to clarify Jerry … no ship has sailed, right?
Rock and a hard place?
Houston Texans owner Bob McNair, who found a team loaded with cap space (Cleveland) willing to take on the ridiculous salary of failed QB Brock Osweiler salary via a trade (the Browns also received a second-round pick), understands why Jones is trying to salvage something from the Romo situation.
“He saw the trade we made,” McNair told USA TODAY Sports. “(Jones) wants to make a trade. I understand that. But he’s between a rock and a hard place with that.”
No comment, sort of
Comments were hard to come by from the Cowboys’ brass regarding the incident in which running back Ezekiel Elliott pulling down a woman’s top and exposing her breast during a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
“There is not much that I want to say other than that was unfortunate and not good,” Jones said. “It wouldn’t be the right emphasis one way or the other to get into any communications or dialogue since that happened.”
Pressed on whether there has been dialogue, Jones responded, “Again, that wouldn’t be the right emphasis to imply.
“I wouldn’t want to say on communication, but I’m aware of the incident and I’m aware of the criticism.”
Dallas extended the contracts of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia this week.
Linehan and Marinelli would’ve been entering the final seasons of their deals in the 2017 season.
Linehan is entering his fourth season with the Cowboys and Marinelli and Bisaccia their fifth seasons.
Witten’s new contract gives the Cowboys cap room
Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, 35, signed a four-year contract through 2021 that is worth almost $30 million but doesn’t include any guaranteed money.
Witten’s new deal will help give the Cowboys some cap flexibility. The Cowboys were about $200,000 under the salary cap before Witten agreed to his new deal. This extension will allow the club to reduce his base salary and carve out a much-needed $4 million in cap space.
Stephen Jones said from the NFL owners meetings in Arizona that the Cowboys would “more than likely” use that flexibility.
Broncos, Texans coaches mum on Romo
Houston and Denver have been the teams most talked about when it comes to possible landing spots for Tony Romo. But Houston head coach Bill O’Brien and Denver’s Vance Joseph deflected questions at the annual meetings.
O’Brien: “First of all, I’m not involved. I’m a coach. I don’t have any trade discussions with anybody. He’s under contract with the Cowboys and that’s really all I can say about that. I’m not going to get into speculation of if whether he’s released. Look, first of all, on the two guys that are coming back, I said it the other day and I’ll say it again, we’re excited about those guys.”
Joseph: “For us he’s a non-issue. We haven’t had one meeting about Romo. We’ve got these two young guys that we’re focused on right now and absolutely moving forward in the draft or free agency. We have to acquire one more quarterback because of the reps that will be taken in the spring and the fall. But as far as Romo, that’s a non-issue for us.”
Elliott still cleared for takeoff
NFL owners passed a number of new rules during the meetings, but one proposed change that did not pass was an idea to eliminate hurdling defenders.
As all Cowboys fans — and several embarrassed NFL defenders — know, Elliott loves to take to the air (he was a hurdles champion in high school).
So keep soaring, Zeke … just make sure you land safely.
Another NFL move, another win for Jerry
When NFL owners voted 31-1 on Monday to allow the iconic Raiders franchise to move from Oakland to Las Vegas, Dallas billionaire and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones won. Again.
San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami explains:
“[Jerry Jones] has now helped the 49ers into the Levi’s Stadium gold mine, brokered the deal to get the Rams into Inglewood and then the Chargers there, too, and now has guided the Raiders to Las Vegas, due to start playing in the new stadium by 2019 or 2020.”
“Jones owns a major chunk of Legends, a hospitality-marketing company that will now sell the suites and sponsorships for the Las Vegas stadium (with potentially the largest naming-rights deal ever), is selling them for the Rams and Chargers in LA, and sold out the suites and sponsorships for Levi’s.”
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