With Tony Romo trade rumors or release speculation continuing to heat up, the Dallas Cowboys seem to be ready to move on from having the longtime veteran on the sidelines. There are recent reports that they’ve visited with a Cleveland Browns quarterback in what appears to be an attempt to find a new backup for Dak Prescott. Could this mean that Romo’s move from Dallas to another team is coming very soon?
In a recent article from ESPN, it was reported that the Dallas Cowboys announced they were visiting with Browns quarterback Josh McCown. It was mentioned that the Cowboys had been interested in McCown since last summer when backup QB Kellen Moore broke his ankle during training camp. At the time, the Browns had too high of a price tag for McCown, so Dallas passed. McCown was released by the team this offseason, though, which has the Cowboys once again visiting with him in an attempt to bring him to the team.
As NFL.com reported, Ian Rapoport appeared on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football and said the Cowboys’ biggest concern is that McCown is healthy and ready to play. In the 2016 NFL season, the Texas native appeared in just five games due to injuries.
The longtime quarterback spent his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, then jumped to the Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Bucs, and finally, the Browns for the past few seasons. For his career, McCown has racked up 14,242 yards passing and 79 touchdowns, but also 69 interceptions on his 1,254-for-2,121 completed passes. Still, he would provide a decent backup for when Romo finally moves on from his longtime team.
As for when Romo will do that, it’s not known, but some feel it may be on the way with free agency coming up. While a trade is still possible, it seems more likely that the team will simply release Tony Romo, allowing him to choose the franchise he wants to play for the most. The team that seems to be the frontrunner is the Denver Broncos, who have a strong interest in adding Romo, while he seems to prefer that as his destination. Other possibilities mentioned over the past weeks and months have included the Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, and Houston Texas.
However, it seems that Romo would not play for a franchise located in the same state as his former team. Additionally, Romo and Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones have an “implied agreement” that Romo won’t play for a team that could affect Dallas’ chances of reaching the Super Bowl in the NFC playoffs.
If the Cowboys are able to sign Josh McCown to their roster, it would not only provide a suitable veteran backup for their young star quarterback Dak Prescott but also a mentor. In an interesting side note, Ed Werder of ESPN also said that McCown seems to prefer to wait for an official decision to be made about Tony Romo before he would join the Dallas Cowboys.
It’s being reported that the Cowboys will first get the option to “designate Romo as a June 1 cut” this Thursday. That would allow them to spread a salary cap hit of $19.6 million over the 2017 and 2018 NFL seasons. It would help them save $14 million against the cap this year but not until after June 2, which is when most of the top free agents are likely to have signed elsewhere. For that reason, the Cowboys might just release Romo to save $5.1 million against the cap which they could immediately put to use for signing a quality free agent.
While McCown is no longer a member of the Cleveland Browns, his most recent team has also been mentioned in NFL trade rumors. The team has indicated a strong interest in adding a reliable quarterback to their roster, as reports have indicated Cleveland wants to trade for New England Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo. The proposed deal has Cleveland sending at least this year’s No. 12 pick over to New England, but there is no word on if the Patriots are seriously considering the deal, or adding more to it.
Nonetheless, free agency hits the NFL officially on Thursday evening. That could also be the day that the Dallas Cowboys part ways with Tony Romo, and possibly added another backup such as McCown to their roster. If not Thursday, the team is likely to make their moves in the very near future as the NFL draft is also on the way and this team wants to build towards that Super Bowl opportunity for the 2016-17 NFL season.
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