Romo said he was willing to take a cut in pay from his $17 million base salary in 2015 to keep Murray, who led the NFL in rushing with 1,845 yards.
"DeMarco ended up asking me, 'Why don't you take a pay cut?'" Romo said while appearing on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday. "I was like, 'I will. I will take a pay cut to go do this.' I was like, 'They're going to restructure me and the whole thing,' that's the same thing in some ways just for salary-cap purposes. He was like, 'OK, now we're back to being friends.' 'You're really worried about me? I would take $5 million less if it meant getting you back'. He knew that."
The Cowboys never went to Romo to seek a cut in pay and Murray ended up signing a five-year, $42 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles that included $18 million fully guaranteed. The Cowboys were firm in their four-year, $24 million offer to Murray.
They have since signed Darren McFadden to a two-year deal worth $3 million and could get involved in a possible deal for Adrian Peterson should the Minnesota Vikings decide to part ways with the All-Pro running back or take a runner early in the upcoming draft.
The Cowboys will eventually restructure Romo's contract but they needed the cap room for Greg Hardy's per-game roster bonuses, not a deal to keep Murray.
Romo is set to count an NFL-high $27.77 million against the salary cap but can create more than $12 million in space by lowering his $17 million base salary down to $1 million. While it gives the Cowboys room now, it will eat up room in 2016-19.