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Cowboys not expected to trade QB Tony Romo

The Dallas Cowboys are not expected to find a trade partner for veteran quarterback Tony Romo, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Possible interested teams in Romo appear unwilling to take on the 36-year-old’s contract or overpay for a quarterback who has started four games during the past two seasons because of injuries, sources told Schefter.

Sources also told Schefter that the Cowboys are unwilling to trade Romo to a city in which he does not want to play. Teams interested in Romo believe the Cowboys will eventually release the four-time Pro Bowler, and are willing to wait until that happens before pursuing him as a free agent, sources said.

Romo has met twice with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones this offseason, including earlier this week when the quarterback’s release looked imminent. Reports out of Houston and Denver have suggested the Texans and Broncos would be interested in Romo — but only as a free agent, not in a trade.

Multiple sources told Schefter on Friday that Fox Sports also is interested in Romo — as a television analyst to replace John Lynch, who left in January to become the 49ers’ general manager.

The Cowboys’ franchise leader in passing yards and touchdown passes, Romo played only one series in the 2016 season, directing Dallas on a second-quarter touchdown drive in the Week 17 finale against the Eagles. He suffered a compression fracture in his back in a preseason game against the Seahawks, pressing Dak Prescott into the starter’s role. Prescott played so well with the Cowboys losing only one of their first 12 games that by the time Romo was ready to resume his spot, the coaches opted to stick with the rookie.

At the time, Romo delivered a poignant speech in which he said Prescott had earned the right to be the Cowboys’ starter. He also said he had a desire to still play.

Cowboy on Thursday released all the time leading passers Tony Romo

Tony Romo will soon no longer be a Dallas Cowboy.

The Cowboys will release the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns on Thursday, sources told ESPN, allowing him the chance to sign with another team if he desires while removing any doubt that they have the utmost faith in Dak Prescott.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones’ decision to release Romo was the result of a conversation between the two on Tuesday, league sources told ESPN’s Ed Werder.

A source told Werder that Romo did not have to pressure Jones to release him before the official beginning of NFL free agency so he could pursue opportunities with another franchise.

Jones told Romo that he had waited to determine whether another team might offer the Cowboys something in a trade for the oft-injured quarterback. When that failed to occur following the NFL scouting combine, Jones told Romo he would release him and make him a June 1 designation, which will save the Cowboys $14 million against the cap this year.

Romo will still count $10.7 million on the 2017 cap and $8.9 million on the 2018 cap.

The Cowboys are visiting with veteran quarterback Josh McCown on Wednesday, who would replace Romo as the backup quarterback if he signs with the team.

McCown was one of the Cowboys’ targets last summer after Kellen Moore broke his ankle in the first week of training camp, but the Cleveland Browns’ asking price was too high. McCown, who turns 38 in July, was released by the Browns earlier in the offseason after a two-year run with the club.

The release of Romo, who turns 37 in April, does not come as much surprise, although it was a move that pained Jones because of the close relationship he forged with Romo over 14 years.

Prescott’s play in 2016, which earned him Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, and the Cowboys’ a 13-3 record, all but clinched the decision. While the Cowboys could have afforded the $24.7 million salary-cap figure, in reality paying a backup quarterback $14 million made little sense.

Romo’s rise to the top of the Cowboys’ all-time passing chart started as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Illinois in 2003. He eschewed a larger signing bonus from the Denver Broncos at the time to join the Cowboys.

Then-coach Bill Parcells took an immediate liking to Romo; however, he did not throw a pass in a game until 2006. After replacing Drew Bledsoe at halftime against the New York Giants, Romo made the first start of his career on Oct. 29, 2006, against the Carolina Panthers, throwing for 270 yards and a touchdown in a 35-14 win.

He sparked the Cowboys to a 9-7 finish and spot in the playoffs, but that season ended when he dropped a snap on a potential winning field goal attempt against the Seattle Seahawks in the wild-card round.

In his first full season as the starter in 2007, Romo threw for a then-franchise-record 4,211 yards, a mark he would set twice more in his career, and a franchise record 36 touchdown passes. The Cowboys finished with the best record in the NFC (13-3) but lost in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Romo has a career record of 78-49, but he never was able to get the Cowboys past the divisional round of the playoffs in four playoff appearances. His 34,183 passing yards and 248 touchdown passes are the most in team history, but with Hall of Famers Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman combining for five Super Bowl wins, Cowboys quarterbacks are judged on championships.

Romo also holds team records for most 300-yard passing games (46), multiple touchdown pass games (79) and consecutive games with a touchdown pass (38). In 2012, he threw for a club-record 4,903 yards and on Oct. 6, 2013, against the Denver Broncos, he threw for a franchise record 506 yards. He owns the NFL record with a touchdown pass in 41 straight road games.

Back injuries started to slow Romo down. In 2013, he had two back surgeries, including a discectomy before the season finale. He suffered two transverse process fractures in 2014 but missed just one game in leading the Cowboys to a 12-4 record and NFC East title.

In 2015, he suffered a broken left collarbone against the Philadelphia Eagles and missed seven games. He rebroke the collarbone in his second game back and missed the final five games. The Cowboys went 1-11 without Romo.

After undergoing collarbone surgery last spring, Romo said his back felt as strong as it had in years, but on the third play from scrimmage in a preseason game against Seattle, he was awkwardly driven to the turf by Cliff Avril and suffered a compression fracture in his back.

Romo’s absence allowed Prescott, the Cowboys’ second fourth-round pick last year, to win the starting job. After losing the season opener, the Cowboys won a franchise-record 11 straight games. Prescott finished his rookie season with 23 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. He also set a team record for a quarterback with six rushing touchdowns.

Disappointed he would not have the chance to win the job back, Romo diffused any controversy with a heartfelt statement backing Prescott upon his return. He served as the backup for the first time since 2006 and saw action in just one game, throwing a touchdown pass on his lone drive in the 2016 finale against the Eagles.

Dak Prescott credits his rise to the Cowboys’ village

FRISCO, Texas – More than 20 years after “It Takes a Village” was published, the Dallas Cowboys have used the theme to help Dak Prescott.

The Cowboys have employed a village of sorts to help raise Prescott from developmental draft pick to perhaps the best rookie quarterback in NFL history.

Prescott can write the final chapters of the book by becoming the first rookie quarterback to take his team to a Super Bowl with a win Sunday against the Green Bay Packers and another in the NFC Championship Game.

He deserves the most credit for his success this season, but he has been quick to praise those around him: offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson and quarterbacks Tony Romo, Mark Sanchez and Kellen Moore.

“They’re the reason I’m prepared for each and every game,” Prescott said. “All the credit goes to each and every one of them. The little different things they bring to me, the little nuances they get from the defense they add into the game plan, that just helps me out. Having all those quarterbacks around me, great quarterbacks, great men, it’s the reason for my preparation each game.”

The teacher

Before anybody else with the Cowboys truly loved Prescott, Wilson loved him. He was the one who went to Starkville, Mississippi, for a personal workout.

Not long after the Cowboys took Prescott in the draft, Wilson was directly responsible for teaching him the playbook. Most of Linehan’s time was spent with Romo and Moore, even into training camp. Wilson was the one who taught Prescott the ins and outs of the playbook.

“Dak is like a sponge,” Wilson said. “Any piece of knowledge you give him, he tries to absorb and apply on the practice field and see it come to fruition.”

Because Prescott came from a spread offense at Mississippi State, he had to work on the seemingly simple task of taking a snap from center. It’s more than just the physical action of putting your hands on the ball. Prescott had a habit of dropping too deep after the snap.

“It happens more in play-action and run-action,” said Wilson, who was the Chicago Bears’ quarterbacks coach when Kyle Orton won 10 games as a rookie in 2005. “He takes seven full strides from under center, and if he gets past 8 1/2, 9 yards, that’s too deep for our tackles. They’re protecting to a spot that is shorter than that. If he gets a little deep, I’m fine as long as he steps up at the top of the drop. But if it’s 10 yards hanging back there or floating, we’re not protecting to that spot. Tony’s more of a short strider. He’ll hit 8 1/2. Dak’s a long strider. He hits a lot of time over 9, sometimes 10. Again that’s fine as long as you climb up. But that’s something he’s gotten better at.”

The playcaller

As Wilson worked the finer points of the position, Linehan was tasked with tailoring the offense to what Prescott does best. The Cowboys have incorporated more bootleg and waggle actions into their passing game because of Prescott’s athleticism. They have some zone-read runs as well.

Linehan found himself remembering how he coached Matthew Stafford, who was the No. 1 overall pick of the Detroit Lions in 2009. It was the first time in his career Linehan worked exclusively with a rookie. There are things a coordinator can do with a seasoned starter like Romo that he cannot do with an inexperienced rookie.

After two subpar games against the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants and some rumblings about a quarterback change, Linehan devised a game plan that put Prescott in control. The rookie responded by completing 32 of 36 passes in a win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“The everyday approach and preparation that you have, you kind of have a starting point and a finishing point, to the start of the season to the end, as far as what you ask them to do,” Linehan said. “I think you grow with it as the season goes on. Not that they can’t handle it, but I feel like you can overload them. These guys are extremely bright guys. They can handle anything, but the experience factor factors in. And once you get those hours under your belt on the field, it tends to come a little easier to expand on some of [the] things you do.”

The vet

Not long after suffering a compression fracture against the Seattle Seahawks, Romo sent Prescott a text message.

“I believe in you,” he wrote. “You’re the type of guy I pull for.”

Romo believed he would get the job back when healthy, but his heartfelt speech in November, when his back was fully healed, took any sting away from a possible controversy that could tear at the fabric of the team.

Romo’s help to Prescott has been mostly through relating his experiences.

“He’s been great, helping me out every day on the field, off the field,” Prescott said. “Come Sundays, giving me looks and telling me things that he’s done in the past to beat this coverage or things to look for, [like], ‘We scored on those two drives in a row, expect a blitz now, expect them to throw their game plan away.’ All kinds of things Romo has helped me with. He’s been great.”

The buddy

After his first practice with the Cowboys, Sanchez took a call from his dad.

“He was asking, ‘How’s it going? How’s Dak?’” Sanchez said. “And I was like, “Papa, this kid can play, man. He can spin it. I mean, everyone at this level can spin it, but he’s got something. I’m telling you, he can call the plays. He just has no problem. No fear. There’s nothing going on. He’s just balling.’ It was pretty impressive.”

Sanchez is the last rookie quarterback to take a team to a conference championship. He was the New York Jets’ quarterback in 2009 and lost to Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC title game. Sanchez’s time in New York did not end well, but he has an appreciation for what he accomplished. He wants Prescott to appreciate what he has done, too.

“He grabs me and tells me to make sure I take 15, 30 minutes to soak it all in and enjoy it,” Prescott said. “Mark has been great. I guess he’s been my mental coach if anyone has been, about what we need to do this drive, what we need to do to get going.”

The savant

When the Cowboys got to Oxnard, California, for training camp, the plan was for Moore to be Romo’s backup. A week into practice, Moore suffered a broken ankle that would knock him out for the season.

From his time with Linehan in Detroit, Moore, who attends games away and at home, knows the coordinator better than anyone. He can quickly decipher what Linehan wants and pass the message to Prescott.

“He’s an offensive coordinator in his own mind,” Prescott said. “He’s simply a genius when it comes to helping Coach Linehan out and early in the week giving looks, helping me out with things the defense does, maybe little keys here and there to tip me off on coverages or blitz.”

Moore was a rookie more recently than anybody else in the quarterback room. He’s also the last quarterback not named Romo to start for the Cowboys before Prescott. After a record-setting career at Boise State, it took four years for him to see his first NFL action. Prescott’s success makes him shake his head.

“Just the preparation, probably the comfort level more importantly, especially just because everything changes,” Moore said. “Week in, week out, everything evolves. The game plan changes, a signal maybe, maybe a protection. We change a lot of things. To be able to handle that change as a rookie is obviously amazing.”

Randy Gregory suspended at least 1 year for violating NFL substance abuse policy

FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys will be without defensive end Randy Gregory for a potential Super Bowl run this year — and at least the next calendar year — for another violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

The league announced the suspension on Thursday — a few hours after Gregory took part in the Cowboys’ first practice of the postseason.

It is possible Gregory could appeal the suspension to federal court, like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did in response to Deflategate, which could allow him to continue to play, but it is not known whether he will take that course of action.

Gregory can apply for reinstatement 60 days before the suspension ends; he would be eligible for the playoffs next year if the Cowboys qualify — and if he meets all of the standards set forth in the suspension.

On Tuesday, Gregory was in New York for his appeal hearing for what is believed to be a missed test, which occurred during the regular season while he was with the team but unable to practice. He was suspended the first four games of the season for a violation during the 2015 season and subsequently suspended another 10 games for missing a test in the offseason.

For his previous suspensions, Gregory was allowed to take part in meetings and work out, but he wasn’t allowed to practice; however, that will not be the case now, and will carry over to the offseason program, minicamp, training camp and preseason games.

The Cowboys knew of the possibility of another suspension, but they decided to activate him to the 53-man roster anyway. In the process, they lost defensive end Zach Moore on waivers to the San Francisco 49ers. In the final two games, the coaches credited Gregory with 7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 2 quarterback pressures. He also recorded the first sack of his career in the Week 17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

While Gregory’s absence hurts the Cowboys, they saw defensive linemen Tyrone Crawford (shoulder), DeMarcus Lawrence (back) and Cedric Thornton (ankle) return to practice Thursday. Terrell McClain (ankle) went through resistance training off to the side. All are expected to be able to play in the divisional round of the playoffs on Jan. 15.

With Gregory suspended, the Cowboys have an open spot on their 53-man roster.

The Cowboys selected Gregory in the second round (No. 60 overall) of last year’s draft, believing they got a steal; however, because of suspensions and injuries, he will have played in only 14 of a possible 48 regular-season games.

Dez Bryant Womens Jersey

IRVING, Texas — Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant(Dez Bryant Jersey) left the locker room Thursday during the open media access after a prolonged rant aimed at reporters.

Initially, Bryant was upset about a story written last week by ESPN’s Jean-Jacques Taylor. The two exchanged words before wide receiver Devin Street attempted to get involved. Street then claimed Taylor used a racial epithet.

Taylor, who is black, denied using the slur. Three others present in the locker room confirmed that Taylor did not use a racial epithet.

Part of the exchange was reported on Twitter by Robert Klemko of The MMQB.

After learning Klemko shared the situation on Twitter, Bryant exchanged words with Klemko, saying what he tweeted was not accurate. A public relations assistant stood between Bryant and Klemko.

“If you’re going to report something, report it right,” Bryant shouted.

Tight end Jason Witten, who was meeting with reporters a few feet away, briefly ended his interview and attempted to help calm the situation before coach Jason Garrett and Rich Dalrymple, the Cowboys’ senior vice president of public relations/communications, entered the locker room.

Bryant called the media “dirty” nine times as he spoke to Garrett, then walked out. He later returned, sat briefly at his locker and walked out with music blaring from a wireless speaker system.

After the media access was over, Bryant responded on Twitter: “Yeah, I blew up on the media but report why I blew up on ya’ll … Saying I don’t give f— about me and calling players n—– is not professional.”

He followed up by tweeting:

Dalrymple said the Cowboys would have no comment on the incident.

In the locker room afterward, Bryant said he would not speak to the media again.

Bryant made a similar comment after the Cowboys’ 13-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 1, which was his first game back after a five-game absence because of a broken right foot.

At that time, Bryant was upset at a tweet from a Houston reporter that unfairly portrayed him making a derogatory statement to Seattle wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, who suffered a neck injury when he was a hit by Cowboys safety Jeff Heath while covering a punt.

“I won’t ever, ever, ever, ever wish bad on a player that’s been knocked down. C’mon, man. Stop with the bulls—,” Bryant said after the game. ” Not once did I say that’s what you get. I got on one knee and prayed for that man. I got on one knee and prayed for him. C’mon, man. Don’t put clips together and do that.”

The Cowboys are in the middle of a six-game losing streak, the franchise’s longest since 1989. Witten was asked if the frustration that boiled over in the Bryant incident is a result of the losing.

“Honestly,” Witten said. “I don’t know what happened there.”