Comparing Tony Romo's New Deal To Matt Schaub's: The QB Contract Conundrum

Categories: Game Time, Sports

But that's the short term. Long term, what exactly have the Cowboys signed up for here? Well, Romo's base salary/cap figure over the life of the deal looks like this (* denotes guaranteed seasons):

* 2013: $1,500,000 / $11,818,833
* 2014: $13,500,000 / $21,773,000
2015: $17,000,000 / $25,273,000
2016: $8,500,000 / $15,135,000
2017: $14,000,000 / $19,000,000
2018: $19,500,000 / $19,500,000
2019: $20,500,000 / $20,500,000

Yikes! Cap friendly in 2013, yes, but holy hell, 2014 and 2015 are killers at over $21 million and $25 million in cap space for a guy who's still a zero when it comes to winning at the highest level.

And just how tied to Romo (and this deal) are the Cowboys? Well, consider the "dead money" that would immediately hit the Cowboys cap in each of these seasons if they release Romo:

2013: $53,499,833
2014: $41,681,000
2015: $19,908,000
2016: $11,635,000
2017: $5,000,000

So Romo is virtually uncuttable before 2016, and even punting on him as the solution to the Super Bowl puzzle in Dallas in 2016 (when he is turning 36, so not out of the question) would result in a cap hit of over $11 million.

Compare this to the extension that the Texans gave Schaub before the 2012 season (because ultimately, in Houston, one of the only ways to feel good about the Texans' quarterback situation right now is to say, "Well, at least we're not Dallas!"), in the order of base salary/cap hit/"dead money if released" (* denotes guaranteed years):

* 2013: $7,250,000 / 10,750,000 / $21,250,000
2014: $10,000,000 / 14,500,000 / $10,500,000
2015: $12,500,000 / 17,000,000 / $7,000,000
2016: $14,500,000 / 19,000,000 / $3,500,000

Obviously, both teams hope that these deals work out and their quarterback takes them to the promised land, and whichever team is able to do that, practically by definition when it comes to the quarterback position, got the better deal with their guy.

But looking at worst-case scenarios, which team is potentially more saddled with a guy they flat out overpaid? Well, considering the following:

1. Their cap hits in Year 1 (2013) are about the same, and...

2. In Years 2 and 3 of the deals (2014 and 2015), Schaub counts about $7 million and $8 million less respectively in those seasons than Romo against the cap, and...

3. The Texans can eject on the Schaub Experience after this coming season for a whopping $30 million less in "dead money" against the cap than Dallas, and less than it will cost the Cowboys to eject on Romo in 2016, let alone 2014...

Well -- let's say it together, Texan fans -- "WELL, AT LEAST WE'RE NOT DALLAS!"

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at

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Mark Markovich
Mark Markovich

When a QB has success, sports fans create a myth explaining this success. Same when he fails. Case in point: I was listening to Baltimore sports talk earlier in the season. The general opinion was, "we can't win with Flacco, because he is missing some immeasurable quality required to win." Schaub is good enough to win. But the gods of random statistics are the arbiter. No opinion on Romo.

Tony Gutierrez
Tony Gutierrez

Tony Romo chokes under pressure, like Matt Shaub. We got as far in the playoffs with our 6 million dollar a year QB as we did with our 650 thousand dollar back up QB.

Erich Brehm Jr.
Erich Brehm Jr.

Honestly, do you remember Schaub's season? I'd rather have Tony any day...


@Erich Brehm Jr. Honestly...I do remember. I like Romo better as a QB, but I hate his contract. That was the point of the piece. 

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