(The Sports Xchange) – The Dallas Cowboys plan to release quarterback Tony Romo on Thursday to end his 14-year run with the team as the new league year gets underway, according to multiple reports Wednesday.
Romo’s 2017 salary cap number of $24.7 million stands as the highest among any quarterback for next season.
Romo’s departure became more apparent when reports surfaced of free agent quarterback Josh McCown visiting with the Cowboys on Wednesday.
The Cowboys found a franchise quarterback last season in fourth-round pick Dak Prescott, who was named Offensive Rookie of the Year after throwing for 3,667 yards with a 67.8 completion percentage, 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
Romo, who turns 37 in April, holds many of the team’s passing records with 34,183 yards and 248 touchdowns. But he hasn’t played a full season since 2012, including missing 21 games with injuries the past two seasons.
Romo fractured his back during the preseason, losing his job to Prescott while rehabbing.
Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reported the Denver Broncos are “ready to pursue” Romo if he gets released, adding the team would be his “preferred choice.”
It is unclear whether the Cowboys will designate Romo a June 1 designation, which would save the Cowboys $14 million against the cap this year, but Romo would still count $10.7 million on the 2017 cap and $8.9 million on the 2018 cap, according to ESPN. If Dallas releases him without the designation, the Cowboys will save $5.1 million against the salary cap but will carry $19.6 million in dead money for 2017.
ESPN reported that McCown would prefer not to join the Cowboys until a decision is made about Romo, who started 127 games for Dallas from 2006 through 2015.
McCown, who turns 38 in July, was released by the Cleveland Browns last month after two years with the team. In his career, he has thrown 79 touchdown passes with 69 interceptions in 82 NFL games.