Cap problems won't hamper talks with Tony Romo

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys tabled contract extension talks with quarterback Tony Romo until the offseason. His contract runs through 2013, and the sides would like to extend it.

However, the Cowboys have some salary cap problems for 2013. The projected salary cap for next year is $121 million and the Cowboys are roughly $20 million over the cap with 44 players under contract.

A source said these salary cap problems won't hinder the team when it comes to reaching a possible contract extension for Romo.

The Cowboys have roughly $132 million tied up in cap space and will lose $5 million in space due to penalties administered by the league for how the Cowboys structured contracts in the uncapped year in 2010.

Releasing players and restructuring contracts to clear cap space should help the Cowboys get under the cap.

Then there's the question of what to pay Romo.

Of some recent contracts completed, Houston's Matt Schaub appears to be a baseline to what Romo might get. Schaub signed a five-year $66 million deal with $29.1 million guaranteed earlier this year. San Francisco's Alex Smith signed a three-year $24 million deal with $9 million guaranteed.

The big one is Denver's Peyton Manning, who inked a five-year $96 million deal with $18 million guaranteed. Several of these contracts have incentive clauses that increase the guarantees.

The Cowboys could give Romo a two or three year contract extension. One of the main reasons Romo stopped contract talks was because he didn't want it to be a distraction during the season. Romo has declined comment on his contract status and the club has granted his wishes to wait until the offseason to work on a new deal.