Romo extension close to being finalized

PHOENIX -- On Tuesday, Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones intimated a new contract for quarterback Tony Romo would occur soon.

Jones, speaking to beat writers for 30 minutes during a break in the NFL owners meetings, said he understood fans' concerns about why a new contract hadn't been done for Romo yet.

"Probably what concerns them about a timetable is the fact that they don't know that it won't be weeks out," Jones said. "They don't know that. I have a better feel for it than that. And so I regret. We are involved in dialogue. We are involved in negotiations. It's just not the thing to do for him or me to say we ought to have something done by midnight or tomorrow unless it's that imminent."

Romo, who is entering the final year of his contract, is scheduled to earn a base salary of $11.5 million in 2013. The Cowboys are trying to lower his cap number, which is currently a team-high $16.8 million, to give the team some salary-cap relief to sign draft picks and potential free agents.

Romo halted talks with the Cowboys during the season so the extension wouldn't be a distraction. Now, talks are heating up between the sides, and it appears the Cowboys would like to finalize a deal before the draft in April.

"We all have to decide what date that is. Everybody involved," Jones said. "His agents. Him. Me. Us. But it's not a concern of mine. The point I do want to make when we make this kind of commitment is I feel good about making it. I feel good about where he is in his career. I like the fact that he spent the time he spent with Jason [Garrett] and Wade Wilson. I do expect with Bill Callahan involved and some of the input from the new staff. I do expect some new wrinkles, so to speak, relative to what Tony Romo contributes to the team."