Which signing was more important?
Deal keeps core intact for long haul
First of all, as the newcomer to ESPN Dallas, it must be noted that I'm a big believer in Tony Romo. He deserved his new contract, and he's played well enough the past two seasons to win playoff games.
So for me to pick Elvis Andrus for this question is saying something.
The Rangers basically can't lose with this contract. They get one of the best shortstops in baseball -- a player who has helped them reach two World Series -- in the prime of his career.
He's one of the premier defensive shortstops in the game, and his offense is on the upswing. He's increased his extra base hits every season while his on-base percentage has also improved each year.
He's gotten physically stronger. You can see that by looking at him and by watching him take batting practice. We're not talking about a guy who can hit 15 home runs every season, but there's no reason that he can't approach 10 while continuing to be a threat in the running game.
Andrus, 24, is durable. He hasn't been on the disabled list once in four years. He's averaged 150 games a season and turns 25 on Aug. 26. He's one of eight players since 1900 with at least four seasons of 145 games or more at age 23 or younger. The others? Hall of Famers Al Kaline, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench, Orlando Cepeda and Robin Yount, and players who had very successful careers in Vada Pinson and Andruw Jones.
We're still talking about a young player here. And a very good one.
When the news broke about this being an eight-year deal, there was some hesitancy. That's natural. No one wants to get locked into a bad contract like the Rangers had with Alex Rodriguez, or the ones that could be -- like the Angels' deal with Albert Pujols and the Cincinnati Reds' pact with Joey Votto.
The bottom line is security. The Rangers were looking at losing an All-Star shortstop next season to a big-budget team such as the New York Yankees or the Los Angeles Dodgers. And everyone knows that Andrus' agent, Scott Boras, would have been more than willing to test the free agent market.
All of them, except Beltre, will be Rangers with Andrus unless they're traded.
I love Romo, I'm willing to say he'll get the Cowboys to the Super Bowl. General manager Jerry Jones, not Romo, is the Cowboys' biggest roadblock.
Andrus' extension gives you one of the best shortstops in the game for six years at a reasonable price. And that makes Andrus' contract the more important deal.
Rangers had options; Jerry didn't
The best deal isn't always the most important deal.
There's no denying the fact that the Texas Rangers got the more team-friendly deal when comparing the Elvis Andrus and the Tony Romo contract extensions. The question, however, is which extension was more important.
The answer is easy: Romo's extension is by far the more important of the two.
The Rangers pleasantly shocked their fan base and salvaged a disappointing offseason when they agreed to an eight-year, $120 million extension with Andrus that will keep him in Texas for at least six more years -- 10, if he doesn't exercise his opt-out clause after the 2018 season.
Before Andrus agreed to his deal Monday, it was considered a foregone conclusion the Rangers wouldn't be able to re-sign him.
Not only does the Andrus deal allow the Rangers to keep the 24-year-old shortstop through his prime, it also gives the club many options for the future. However, the Rangers had options before they agreed to an extension with Andrus, including a backup plan involving Jurickson Profar, the No. 1 prospect in baseball who just happens to play the same position.
If I had a penny for every time I heard Profar's name or an Andrus trade rumor this offseason, I would've been able to pay for his new deal out of my own pocket.
Unlike the Rangers, the Cowboys didn't have options.
It was common knowledge that an extension with Romo was offseason priority No. 1 far before he signed a seven-year deal worth $119.5 million.
The significance of the extension has nothing to do with whether or not Romo deserved the contract he got. Again, we're talking about importance, not value.
The Cowboys had to get a deal done with Romo for three reasons:
Well-run organizations have options. Poorly run organizations don't. That's why the Rangers have three consecutive playoff appearances, and the Cowboys have missed the playoffs for three straight seasons.
Whether you agree or disagree with Romo's extension is irrelevant, because extending Romo was the only realistic option the Cowboys had.
That's why Romo's extension was by far the more important of the two.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Galloway & Company discuss which team got a better deal: The Rangers with Elvis Andrus or the Cowboys with Tony Romo?
Ian Fitzsimmons and Richard Durrett discuss Elvis Andrus' contract extension with the Rangers and the options the club has with Ian Kinsler and Jurickson Profar.
Fitzsimmons & Durrett discuss Tony Romo's contract extension and what it says about Jerry Jones.