Cowboys want Romo deal before Spencer

PHOENIX -- Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Monday the team would like to get a new deal for quarterback Tony Romo in place before inking one for outside linebacker Anthony Spencer.

The Cowboys need to lower Romo's team-high $16.8 million cap number in order to sign second-tier free agents and draft picks. Jones said quarterbacks normally take up the bulk of the salary cap.

"Quarterbacks usually take precedent," Jones said during a break from the NFL owners meetings. "Not like I don't like Spencer. Quarterbacks usually come first and foremost. That's it. They take up a significant part of your cap. It obviously dictates a lot for us this year, when we're all said and done."

With Spencer signing his franchise tag, the Cowboys aren't in a rush to sign him long-term. Jones said the two sides haven't spoken yet this week.

Romo is the priority.

"There is never really a start and stop date with Tony," Jones said. "We’re always visiting with Tony about things, whether it’s his contract; he takes up obviously as big portion of our cap as it sits today, he’ll take up more in the future. We’ve just to figure out what that is."