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Where Will Tony Romo Play in 2017?

Quality quarterbacks are a prized commodity in the National Football League. The league does not have enough good starting quarterbacks and college football is producing fewer players able to play the position at the professional level.

Paying, and trying to develop, the wrong quarterback can devastate a NFL team for a decade. The high price in cash wrecks the team’s salary cap and a failure, like the Chicago Bears Jay Cutler gamble, depresses the team’s fan base. A depressed fan base buys fewer tickets and team trinkets and Direct TV ticket packages.

So where will a quality, albeit aging and often injured, player like Tony Romo go? What NFL team is a good fit for a veteran quarterback like Tony Romo?

The aforementioned Chicago Bears are a bad team with a bad situation at quarterback. The Bears most likely will jettison the unpopular, and unproductive, Jay Cutler and seek a replacement in the NFL Draft. Perhaps they will take a chance on Tony Romo as a short term answer while they develop a young, franchise quarterback. Romo played college football at Eastern Illinois so he understands the sometimes harsh Midwestern weather encountered in Chicago. But the Bears are notoriously a tightfisted organization and might not want to pay the price for a veteran player. And the brittle Romo might not want to get beaten up behind a bad Bear’s offensive line.

Romo could opt to offer his services to the Dallas Cowboy’s instate rival, the Houston Texans. The quarterback position has been a disaster for the Texans this season. The Texans seem built to win now with a terrific defense, quality wide outs and a solid running attack but they lack a competent signal caller. And without a competent player at that key position a team can not advance in the NFL playoffs. But the Texans have invested millions in Brock Osweiler. Will the Texans want to pay another player at that position just a year after signing him? The Texans are close so perhaps they will roll the Romo dice.

The Denver Broncos, the defending Super Bowl champions who missed this years playoffs after Peyton Manning retired, are a team that might seek a veteran quarterback to pair with their championship level defense. The Broncos were wrecked by injuries this year and have salary cap issues but they definitely need an upgrade at quarterback. Will Bronco General Manager John Elway take a chance on an aging player, like he did with Peyton Manning, or would he rather develop a younger, cheaper option at that position? Elway might consider Romo too brittle, too much an injury risk and decline to extend a Denver Bronco offer. Or perhaps Elway thinks another quick ring is the best thing and would gamble that Romo can withstand one more season without a year ending injury. Romo’s signing would excite the Bronco fans who feel the team is close to another title.

The Buffalo Bills are searching for a new coach, a new quarterback and a new identity perhaps they would take a flyer on an old pro like Romo? It depends on who the Bills hire to lead the team but a new coach usually wants his own, young quarterback to develop. The New York Jets are an organizational mess and seem to be a team without a purpose or direction. The Jets quarterback play is bad but so is most of the rest of the team. Would Romo really want to sign and be brutalized and booed in New York this late in his career? Doubtful, unless the Jets make him a monetary offer he can not refuse.

Quarterbacks are always needed desperately in the NFL. It is the most important position and teams can not win without them. Does Dallas decide to keep Romo another year as insurance for a team built to win now? Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is a big Romo fan and knows how often quarterbacks get injured in the NFL. Two quarterbacks, if the salary cap can afford it, are better than one. Would Romo give the Dallas a home town discount and end his career as a quality back up?

Romo has a lot of options, he must decide how both his body and mind feel. Does he want beat up behind a bad line on a poor team for a higher contract, take one last Super Bowl run as a Denver Bronco or work out a deal to end his career in Dallas? Either way it will be an exciting choice for Romo and his fans.