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Woody Paige: Tony Romo remains a Cowboy, and there's one person to blame

March 12, 2017 Updated: March 13, 2017 at 2:33 pm
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Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo speaks during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

Dudley Do Wrong of the Dallas Cowboys has backed himself into an isolated corner of his own Jerry World, and he can't escape until he's utterly humiliated.

Day 4: Tony Romo Held Hostage.

How much longer before Jar Jar blinks?

Perhaps Pro Football Hall of Fame officials should apologize and announce their accounting firm made a mistake by giving them the wrong envelope, and that Pat Bowlen actually belongs in, and Jerry Jones is way out.

At the recent NFL Combine, Jones, in addressing the Romo Matter with a group of writers, said the two "will work in the best way we can in the mutual interest for Tony and the Dallas Cowboys'' and "when you've got a situation like we've got, we'll do the do-right rule.''

It was implied that if released, Romo wouldn't come back to haunt his old team with another division team such as Washington, and the owner wouldn't trade his quarterback to a franchise for which he didn't care to play. The reports out of the Cowboys on Wednesday praised The Jer for electing to "do right'' in letting Tony go so he and his eventual team - the Broncos or the Texans - quickly would settle a contract and make plans for moving ahead.

Romo taped a homemade video for Instagram saying goodbye to the Cowboys and thanking everyone in Dallas.

Whoa, though!

On Thursday afternoon, when the official phase of free agency began, Jones called a reverse and, with a tightened face (aided by unnatural measures), that he wasn't releasing Romo.

Rather that following his own do-right rule, Jones decided he could coerce the Texans and the Broncos into bidding-war trade, and to heck with Romo and his feelings.

If Jones hadn't performed his Texas Hold-Em up medicine minstrel trick, the Broncos probably would already have reached an agreement with Romo in John Elway's latest "Plan A.'' The Broncos would sign Romo to a three-year contract, laden with incentive clauses and bonuses, and trade Trevor Siemian to the Jets to acquire another mid-draft choice.

In the meantime, baseball guy Paul DePodesta, of "Moneyball,'' who is the chief strategy officer of Browns football, pulled off a basketball deal - basically buying a second-right draft pick (circumventing NFL rules) by taking on Brock Osweiler's $16 million salary for 2017 - as a prelude to dumping the former Broncos' quarterback.

Momentarily, it appeared that Houston had taken the lead in the Romo race.

Jones was grinning like an Arkansas hog in slop, thinking he had two cubic rubes. Except that Elway has said privately that the Romo Matter wouldn't be addressed unless he was a free agent - so his contract could be reworked (lowered). Then, it became clear that the Texans wouldn't trade for Romo, either, choosing to wait until he is unrestrained.

Romo went off Instagram and into seclusion, and Mr. Do Wrong, whose gambit didn't succeed, hasn't been heard from since.

Apparently, Jones will keep Romo for a while, hoping Houston GM Rick Smith, a one-time media relations assistant for the Broncos (who I must have demanded get me a diet soda or stats), or Elway will flutter their eyelids. But I know Elway has a Tommy Petty hard-headedness ("I won't back down''), and I've been assured by Houston folks that the Texans are not "all hat, no cattle.''

There is the side topic regarding the two franchises. Last year the Texans thought they beat the Broncos in the Brock battle. Turned out, the Texans were incorrect.

And, now, the Broncos have signed another Cowboys castoff - guard Ronald Leary. At one point, the Broncos took in DeMarcus Ware, who had been tossed to the curb by Jones. And look how that turned out. (The Cowboys apparently just lost another valuable starting offensive lineman. Veteran tackle Doug Free says he is retiring.)

The Broncos haven't made much of a dent in free agency - losing out on Calais Campbell (who followed Thomas Wolfe's advice and decided he can't come home again) and several other targeted players who chose money over love, happiness and Super Bowl.

The Texans haven't signed one free agent, as three starters bolted.

Elway trumpeted he had "no Plan B'' when Peyton Manning was persuaded to join the Broncos. Elway may need plans B, C and Z in the next two months. The Broncos still need a defensive end, a nose tackle, a tight end, a right tackle, a left tackle, an inside linebacker and a backup cornerback.

And, indubitably, there's the Texas Standoff over Romo.

While the Patriots become more formidable by doing a lot right in the past few days.

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