The Denver Broncos and Houston Texans have been seen as potential landing spots for Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo for months now, but Broncos General Manager John Elway seemed to throw water on their portion of that notion on Monday.

“Nope. Same old thing. He’s still under contract with the Cowboys,” Elway told reporters Monday at the league meetings in Arizona. “Like we’ve said, we really feel good about the two young ones that we have. The plan is to stay the course there and see what’s available in the draft. We’ll go from there.”

The first part of that quote is more telling than the second: Per NFL anti-tampering rules, Elway isn’t allowed to publicly discuss players who are under contract to other teams.

“Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media, is a violation of the Anti-Tampering Policy,” the policy states.

And so we have Elway saying the Broncos are happy with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, because what else is he going to say? In 2015, the league fined the New York Jets $100,000 after owner Woody Johnson merely said that he’d “love to have Darrelle back” in regards to a question about whether the team would try to woo defensive back Darrelle Revis in free agency following a one-year stint with the New England Patriots. In previous years, the NFL forced teams to surrender draft picks after violating the anti-tampering rules. Why would Elway want to risk that?

Texans Coach Bill O’Brien was similarly silent on the matter Tuesday.

In any case, Elway almost certainly is interested in Romo, despite his public pronouncements. According to Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram, the Broncos would love to have Romo on their roster should the Cowboys cut him and be becomes a free agent. They have no interest in trading for him, Hill says, because they don’t want to take on the contract he has with Dallas: The oft-injured Romo has three years remaining on that deal, with base salaries of $14 million, $19.5 million and $20.5 million.

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