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Romo is signed through 2016, but the final three years of his deal will void after the 2013 season. In pro sports, contracts are about leverage and timing. Based on what we know right now, Romo has all the leverage. The Cowboys' quarterback of the future isn't on the current roster -- no matter how much you might respect Kyle Orton -- and Romo seems to be entering his prime as a player. The 32-year-old passed for 4,184 yards with 31 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 102.5 passer rating in 2011.
If Brees just signed a five-year, $100 million deal that guarantees him $40 million in his first season and $60 million in the first three seasons, it's fair to assume Romo is going to get 60 percent to 70 percent of that guaranteed cash -- even if the Cowboys don't win a playoff game for the 17th time in 18 seasons. And if the Cowboys somehow advance to the NFC Championship Game or beyond, Romo's total deal will surpass Brees' contract because he'll get a six- or seven-year contract.
Quarterback Tony Romo, left, is on secure footing with Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.