IRVING, Texas – When quarterback Tony Romo signed his six-year, $108 million extension, a couple ground rules were put in place.
It was agreed that Romo would stick around for the future and invest even more time than he already does during the week in helping with the game plan, and owner/general manager Jerry Jones would protect his long-term investment and offer help on the offensive line.
"In our negotiations, (Romo) was inordinately interested in what we were going to be doing in the offensive line," Jones said. "It meant something to him, to make commitments that he was making, that we commit there. It meant something to him and to me that he commit to what I'm talking about doing, more time that he commits to doing more time. It's part of his job description."
Jones said he wasn't implying that Romo wasn't involved in game-planning prior to this season, but he wants his quarterback to spend even more time being involved. The way Jones puts it, he wants Romo to spend "Peyton Manning type time on the job."
"Anybody will tell you that Peyton Manning's involvement in what they do is a bonus as opposed to what the general commitment is of top quarterbacks in the NFL," Jones said.
After paying his quarterback elite money, Jones wants an elite return. Romo will be more involved in the finished product, according to Jones, which gives the owner more confidence the team will turn things around.
Jones didn't say Romo will necessarily be calling the plays on Sundays, but he will play a larger and different role in what those plays will be.
"I can speak for Jason (Garrett) in this respect, everything that he's about wants more buy-in and more participation from the player," Jones said. "The more he can get the player, so that if Tony, for instance, would be here Monday through Saturday, that is far better and be here from 7 in the morning to 6 o'clock at night all over this place, then that's better than the way it's been. We'll have more success. And Jason believes that, certainly at quarterback, but other positions, too."
Part of that extra time committed by the quarterback was evident this week, as Romo came to Valley Ranch to speak with executives and offer his opinions on the early draft picks and what he thought of the players they considered.
"You can't walk back here and spend a day looking at three or four players and really change anything," Jones said. "But certainly, we had it narrowed down pretty good and wanted to just get a sense of what he might be more comfortable with.
"The more Tony can be involved in what we're doing offensively, the more the product we have out there complements his skills, the more we're going to do it."