Romo's contract talks haven't started

With all the discussion in the media and among fans regarding Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo's next contract, a source said talks about extending him haven't started yet.

The Cowboys and Romo's agent, R.J. Gonser, suspended talks about a contract extension during the 2012 season so it wouldn't be a distraction. Romo has declined to answer questions about the subject.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Tuesday the team believes Romo is a big piece of the franchise's future.

"Tony is a key piece of what we're about going forward," Jones said. "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.

Romo could command an average salary of $12 million to $14 million with his next contract.