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Eatman: Tabling QB Contract Talks Risky, But Not Too Alarming

For whatever reason, and there seems to be a few of them, the Cowboys and Tony Romo have tabled discussions on a new contract for the rest of the season.

According to a source within the team, that decision has no negative connotations and both sides are expected to resume discussions at the end of the season.

While it's been reported Romo wants to focus on the rest of the season and for this not to be a distraction, don't forget he wasn't afraid to sign a six-year deal worth $67.4 million in the middle of the 2007 season.

It sounds like Romo's camp, which has recently seen a big change, wouldn't mind seeing what Baltimore's Joe Flacco and maybe even Atlanta's Matt Ryan get. Both players are expected to get new deals rather soon, although Flacco has also stated he wants to wait until the offseason.

Romo, who has two years remaining on his deal that expires after the 2013 season, recently switched agents from Ken Kramer to R.J. Gosner with Creative Artists Agency Sports.

The Cowboys would certainly like to get a deal done sooner, which would help them lower his 2013 cap charge, which is scheduled to be nearly $17 million, including an $11.5 million base salary. The Cowboys will have another $5 million penalty next year for improperly structuring contracts during the uncapped season 2010.

While Romo certainly wants to see where guys like Flacco and Ryan end up, it's not a given he will get as much as either player, considering they are both 27 and who knows how this season will play out. Ryan has his team 4-0 and looking like big-time contenders in the NFC and Flacco is putting up better numbers this year to go along with the Ravens' always-stout defense.

But those two will likely set the barometer for Romo, just like recent contracts have with Houston's Matt Schaub, who got a $62 million extension over four  years and Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick (six years, $59  million).

The guaranteed money will be the key as always. Schaub got $30 million guaranteed and $24 million for Fitzpatrick. Romo's deal in 2007 gave him $30 million guaranteed.

Now it won't be anything like Drew Brees' $60 million but look for Romo to want something in the mid-40's when it come s to guaranteed cash.

And don't forget too, there is some risk involved with Romo wanting to wait this out, especially when you consider how many big hits he took last week and the fact he's been hurt and missed 10 games in 2010.

Another such injury where he is out for extended time would certainly lower his value and probably the overall contract.

So it's not just as simple as waiting until the end and resuming talks. Both sides probably hope so, but there is some risk involved, especially from Romo's perspective.

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