If the Cowboys were to land the 2018 draft, it would be the fourth different town over the last five years for the annual event. The 2014 draft marked the last year of its longtime residence at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, followed by two years in Chicago and, this year, in Philadelphia.
Jones said the league has not provided a timetable for the decision. Philadelphia’s winning bid for the 2017 draft was announced on Sept. 1 of last year. The Green Bay Packers have expressed interest in hosting the three drafts from 2019 to 2021, and the Kansas City Chiefs are also interested in hosting the event.
The No. 16 pick in 2014, Martin has been one of the best guards in the NFL since the moment he stepped into the league. The 26-year-old hasn’t missed a start in three seasons, has earned a Pro Bowl bid each year and was selected first-team All-Pro twice (was second-team All-Pro the other year).
Martin’s 2018 salary is expected to be about $9.3 million. Given what Kevin Zeitler and T.J. Lang made on the open market, that’s a bargain for the Cowboys.
“In his head right now, he has not ruled out coming back to Dallas if in fact they ever needed him, because, God forbid, there was an injury, that he could see himself in a savior role for the Cowboys,” Slater said Tuesday on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football.
This boils down to simply: If Dak Prescott suffers a catastrophic, Teddy Bridgewater-esque injury, Romo could unretire to try and save the day. We presume such an injury would have to occur early in the season — it seems unlikely a 36-year-old veteran could kick off the rust in December after months’ worth of TV duty.
“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.”
Romo was set to make $14 million in 2017 with the Cowboys. He might wind up making that money this season elsewhere, but any contract will likely build in protections for injury. Romo didn’t even last three series in the 2016 preseason before suffering a compression fracture in his back. Romo also broke his clavicle in 2015 and has not played more than two games in a row since the 2014 season. He’s a huge injury risk for any team that signs him, having also undergone previous disk surgery, suffered two transverse process fractures, two broken clavicles and had a cyst removed from his spine.
That injury history spells out the inherent risk in signing Romo. He will turn 37 years old in April and there is no guarantee he will last even half a season. The Texans could be more attractive to Romo because they have a better offensive line than Denver, and it’s possible Romo would not have to uproot his family in Dallas. The Broncos, meanwhile, have a championship defense and pedigree. Signing Romo despite his risk makes particular sense for Denver because the team doesn’t necessarily need Romo. They have two promising young quarterbacks in Trevor Siemian and cheap jerseys and Paxton Lynch and could survive if Romo was hurt once again. The Texans have a more pressing need at quarterback but less cap space and are already forking over $16 million guaranteed to Osweiler in 2017.
Hardened under Bill Parcells, Romo got his chance in 2006. Romo completed 66 percent of his passes for 270 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his first NFL start — a 35-14 win over the Carolina Panthers. He finished that season by taking the 3-3 Cowboys under Bledsoe to the playoffs.
While the cynics will often mention the Cowboys’ lack of ultimate success during the Romo era — his teams were 2-4 in six playoff appearances between 2006 and 2014 — they also fail to see the big picture. Like the low-drafted Tom Brady, Romo represented one of the NFL’s great success stories. Plucked from Division II obscurity at a time when mid-level NCAA scouting was not a strength in most personnel departments, he worked his way through the system and up the depth chart. On the field, his combination of rambling playmaker and precision passer fit perfectly with a series of showtime offenses built by Jones. From the Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn era to the rise of Dez Bryant, Romo was one of the franchise’s most important mainstays.