By John P. Lopez
The class and professionalism Tony Romo showed in what essence was his farewell Cowboys news conference Tuesday went a long way toward solidifying him as a Cowboys legend.
It also all but sealed Romo’s fate for 2017. He won’t be a Cowboy. Barring injury, he’s played he has taken his last snap in Dallas.
Which leads, of course, to the most likely landing spots for the ultra-talented, if postseason-cursed 36-year-old.
A number of fans will be wishful-thinking their way to a Romo scenario for their team, but the majority of realistic options are few — largely because of Romo’s giant salary-cap hit next season ($19.6 million).
But three teams immediately fit the bill when it comes to available cap space next year and opportunity for Romo. While the Cowboys would owe Romo nothing in terms of a good environment for his next home, rest assured Jerry Jones will take care of the man for whom Jones has much respect and admiration.
The three teams: Jets, Bears and — gasp — Broncos.
The first two teams are naturals, based on market, projected 2017 cap space and logic. The Jets like to make a splash and have Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bears should have plenty of space for Romo, Jay Cutler likely will be gone and Romo is an Illinois native.
Then there are the Broncos. The possibilities seem positively beautiful, none more than the possibility of a Romo/Broncos vs. Dak/Cowboys 2018 Super Bowl.
But beyond that, former Texans coach Gary Kubiak could be perfect for the aging but still effective Romo, having the experience coaching Peyton Manning’s final seasons. Youngsters Trevor Seimian, who has struggled of late, and rookie Paxton Lynch could learn under the consummate professional in Romo.
Even better for both the Broncos and Romo is Kubiak’s preferred offense is built around a quarterback with Romo’s skills on rollout and bootlegs. With what still figures to be among the league’s best defenses, Romo would benefit.
And, oh, yeah. Romo loves defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who coached Romo in Dallas and figures to do some heavy-duty pushing to snag his former quarterback.
At this point in his career, all Romo wants is a ring. The road to a title may well lead to Denver and, a year from now, perhaps through Dallas.