With Tony Romo Retiring, Where Do QB Needy Texans Turn Now?

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 2:58 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 4, 2017 2:58 PM UTC

Surprising news out of the NFL on Tuesday as Dallas QB Tony Romo, who was wanted by both the Texans and Broncos, has decided to retire from the NFL and start his broadcasting career. What does this mean for Houston and Denver?

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has barely played the past two years because of injuries, and the 37-year-old has decided to end his playing career. He was coveted for an analyst’s role by CBS, Fox and NBC and will accept one of those jobs. It’s a win-win for Romo as he will be still be paid millions of dollars annually while getting to spend more time with his family yet staying around football. Romo should make an excellent TV guy because he knows the game inside-and-out and is very charismatic. He’s expected to replace Phil Simms on CBS'  No. 1 team (thank God!).

Romo was never going to play for the Cowboys this season after the emergence of rookie Dak Prescott in 2016. Dallas is expected to now designate Romo as a post-June 1 release. Instead of counting $24.7 million in 2017 against the Cowboys’ salary cap, Romo would count $10.7 million this year and $8.9 million in 2018. The Cowboys would gain $14 million in cap space, but it would not become available until June 2.

Some might call Romo overrated because he was just 2-4 in the playoffs in his career and never appeared in a conference title game. That said, Romo was a four-time Pro Bowler who threw for 34,183 yards, 281 touchdowns and had a rating of 97.1. Those are all records for a Dallas quarterback. In fact, Romo’s rating is the third-highest career in league history (minimum 3000 attempts) behind Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (104.1) and New England’s Tom Brady (97.2). The difference being those guys have MVP Awards and Super Bowl rings.  Romo ranks third in quarterback wins in Cowboys history with 78, trailing only Troy Aikman (94) and Roger Staubach (85). Both those guys won Super Bowls.

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We can dissect Romo’s career at a later date. The big losers here are clearly the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos. Both were prepared to pounce on Romo whenever the Cowboys decided to release him. Dallas owner Jerry Jones was trying to work a trade, but neither franchise would bite. Those two were the clear betting favorites when BookMaker released an NFL prop on where Romo would play in 2017. Retirement wasn’t even an option.

The Broncos should be fine at QB as they still have last year’s starter Trevor Siemian, who was solid enough, and their future under center in second-year Paxton Lynch.

It’s a gut punch for Houston, however. The Texans have a Super Bowl-caliber defense already and some very good skill position offensive players in receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller and running back Lamar Miller. Coach Bill O’Brien definitely doesn’t have a quarterback. Brock Osweiler was a free-agent bust last year and was traded in a salary dump to Cleveland. So the Texans' top current option would be to start Tom Savage, a former fourth-round draft pick who has dealt with injuries in recent seasons. Savage took over late last year for a struggling Osweiler but then suffered a concussion and missed the postseason. Journeyman Brandon Weeden is the No. 2 on the roster.

The top free-agent QBs on the market are former 49er Colin Kaepernick and ex-Bear Jay Cutler. If those guys were great options, the Texans already would have one of them. Cutler is considered a bad locker-room guy, and given team owner Bob McNair's political leanings Kaepernick isn’t a likely option. Houston’s first-round pick in this year’s draft is at No. 25, but the consensus is there’s no ready-to-play franchise QB in this class and certainly not at 25.

The Texans are +1100 on NFL futures to win the AFC title. They aren’t doing that with Savage under center.

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