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Friday, March 29, 2013
Tony Romo can't be tagged in '14

By Todd Archer
ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- Contractually the Dallas Cowboys will not be able to place a franchise tag on Tony Romo in 2014 because of language in the quarterback's deal, according to sources.

The NFL Network first reported that the Cowboys wouldn't be able to tag Romo in 2014.

But from a practical standpoint, they would not be able to place the tag on Romo anyway.

As part of a restructuring of Romo's contract in 2011, the team added three voidable years to the deal to keep his salary-cap figures lower, but the window to place a franchise tag on Romo next year would close before the contract officially voids.

The Cowboys, however, would not be in a position to tag Romo because of the cost.

Once the deal voids, $8.1 million of signing bonus proration will hit the cap in 2014, which would be added to the price of a franchise tag that could be in the $18-20 million range. That would mean Romo would count anywhere from $26-28 million against the cap, which would be too prohibitive, chewing up more than 20 percent of the total cap.

The Cowboys and Romo's agents have been in off-and-on talks for most of the month. Romo is set to count $16.8 million against the cap in 2013 with an $11.5 million base salary.

The Cowboys are less than $25,000 under the cap after signing linebacker Justin Durant and safety Will Allen this week. They are eyeing other free agents but would need to sign Romo or Anthony Spencer to new deals to create enough cap room first.