The Washington Post

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo says he’ll play five more years, but he probably won’t

(AP Photo/Sharon Ellman)

Tony Romo said he will fulfill the six-year, $108 million deal he signed in March 2013. It’s a bold claim by a quarterback who not only turned 34 in April but also underwent season-ending back surgery in late December.

Since 1970, there have been only four quarterbacks who started 10 or more games in each season between the ages of 34 and 38: Warren Moon (1990-1994), John Elway (1994-1998), Dan Marino (1995-1999) and Brett Favre (2003-2007).

Romo has been sacked 107 times over the past three seasons, and for quarterbacks in their early 30s, that can spell the end of their career as a starter. Over the past 20 years, there have been four quarterbacks who were sacked at least 100 times in their age 31-to-33 seasons. All got worse over the next five seasons.

They all started fewer games per season as well.

Do you see Cowboys owner Jerry Jones spending $18 million per year on a backup quarterback in his late 30s with declining performance? Yeah, me neither.

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.



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Neil Greenberg · May 22, 2014