DENVER -- Continuing to work every angle to trade their veteran quarterback, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones granted general managers permission to speak with Tony Romo or his agent to arrange a visit or workout, according to multiple reports.
The move is designed to facilitate a trade. As such, it remains unlikely, as of Monday, that the Broncos' stance regarding Romo will change. They have not closed the door on Romo, but it has yet to open. Their interest hinges on Romo becoming a free agent, which would allow the Broncos to talk contract parameters with incentives to protect against injury. The Broncos dived into full-throttle draft preparation Monday. They have never had interest in dealing for Romo, and held no discussions with the Cowboys at last week's NFL owners meetings.
Last week I asked Broncos coach Vance Joseph, given his growing comfort level with young quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, why not eliminate Romo as an option? Siemian continues to recover on schedule from left shoulder surgery, and Lynch has returned to Dove Valley to acclimate to the altitude before workouts begin on April 10.
"I would say this: It’s our overall philosophy to not rule anything out. If a player is available who can help us get better in any area then we’re going to research and explore it. That’s everyone who becomes available. That’s the issue. You can’t say, ‘Never, never, never.’ Right now, today, we’re fine with our quarterbacks," Joseph said. "Moving forward, if anyone becomes available who can help us get better we’re going to explore it.”
Romo's situation became muddied when the Cowboys didn't release him as expected at the start of free agency. He lost his starting job to rookie Dak Prescott, and will be 37 this month after making four starts over the past two seasons. The Texans and Cowboys are the two teams most often connected to Romo, with Houston given the slight edge by industry sources after trading Brock Osweiler last month. Romo, according to reports, is also considering retiring and beginning a broadcast career with offers from Fox and CBS.
Offseason Dates set
As a new coach, Joseph could have begun workouts on April 3, but told me starting April 10 worked better because the players progress through without a break.
The first phase of the Broncos "voluntary" offseason program begins April 10 with voluntary mini camp April 25-27. During the first two weeks of the program, players can go through strength and conditioning and physical therapy activities.
Voluntary mini-camp runs April 25-27, followed by rookie orientation May 11-13. The voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) are May 23-25, May 30-31, June 5-8.
Mandatory minicamp is scheduled for June 13-15 with no date yet established for the start of training camp in late July.