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down what he looks for in a quarterback. Rather than sign Tony Romo to a long-term extension, Jerry Jones should try a bold tactic designed to maximize the QB's competitiveness and talent -- let him play out his deal, Jean-Jacques Taylor writes. Column

"Tony is a key piece of what we're about going forward," Jones said Tuesday. "We're certainly going to be looking at his situation (in) time.

"We've historically (extended contracts) with quarterbacks for the Dallas Cowboys ahead of time. We did it with Troy (Aikman) and we certainly want to look at that with Tony so we can all move forward in terms of how we want to play around our salary cap with our team. Tony is the key piece in terms of how your cap is represented."

Romo, in the last year of his contract, is scheduled to earn a base salary of $11.5 million in 2013. His salary cap figure is a team-high $16.8 million.

The Cowboys, like all NFL teams, have until March 12 to get under the expected $121 million cap. The Cowboys are roughly $20 million over that figure, so lowering Romo's cap number by extending his contract is an important part of that process.