Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What does the Houston Texans' contract extension for QB Matt Schaub mean for ... - Dallas Morning News (blog)

The other NFL team in Texas took care of its quarterback Sunday, with the Houston Texans signing Matt Schaub to a four-year contract extension.

The Cowboys might not be too far behind in following suit with their own standout quarterback. Tony Romo is signed through 2013, but the Cowboys want to extend his contract.

Schaub was about to enter the final season of a six-year deal he signed with the Texans when they acquired him from Atlanta in 2007.

Romo didn’t have to wait until the off-season last time for his contract extension. He agreed to a six-year, $67.5 million extension with $30 million guaranteed in late October of the 2007 season.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM 105.3 that he doesn’t get into “when or how regarding contracts.” But don’t expect Jones to let Romo enter next season with no extension in place.

“That’ll have a timetable that I’m sure will be comfortable for Tony as well as the Cowboys,” Jones said on his radio show.

Romo will count $8.06 million against the team’s salary cap this season but that number will more than double to $16.8 million in 2013. The Cowboys could help their salary cap space next season by extending Romo and lowering how much he will cost against the 2013 cap, which already has a dent in it because of the $5 million hit for half of the NFL’s cap sanctions against Dallas.

The terms of Schaub’s contract extension provides a great comparison point for what the Cowboys will contemplate for Romo because the two quarterbacks are similar in age and career accomplishments.

The Texans signed Schaub to a $62 million extension â€" an average of $15.5 million per year â€" with about $30 million guaranteed.

Both quarterbacks became full-time starters in 2007, though Romo did start 10 games for the Cowboys in 2006. Romo has one playoff win and Schaub has zero. Romo is 32 years old and Schaub is 31.

Since 2007, Romo has started 68 games and passed for 18,238 yards and 133 touchdowns with 60 interceptions. Schaub has started 65 games since 2007 and passed for 17,169 yards and 93 touchdowns with 52 interceptions.

NFL contracts are all about setting the market. The Saints’ Drew Brees started the domino effect when he became the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL by signing a five-year, $100 million contract (with $61 million guaranteed) in mid-July.

Now Schaub has provided a baseline for a potential Romo extension, and the Baltimore Ravens are reportedly engaged in contract extension talks with quarterback Joe Flacco that should provide more talking points in Romo negotiations.

Romo certainly could help himself and hurt Jones’ pocketbook by leading the Cowboys to an extended playoff run this season. That’d give him more leverage going into the off-season, which would likely be that “comfortable” timeframe that Jones refereed to in regard to signing Romo.

Follow Brandon George on Twitter: @dmn_george

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