Cleveland also will receive the Texans' 2018 second-round pick and a 2017 sixth-round pick (No. 188 overall). Houston will get a 2017 fourth-round pick (No. 142), and save $10 million in salary-cap space and $16 million in cash this season.
"We're really excited to acquire a second-round draft choice in this trade," Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said. "Draft picks are extremely important to our approach in building a championship-caliber football team. We are intent on adding competition to every position on our roster and look forward to having Brock come in and compete."
The NFL officially approved the trade on Friday.
While Osweiler, 26, is technically coming to Cleveland in the deal, league sources tell ESPN's Pat McManamon that the team is not acquiring him to be its quarterback. Teams already have reached out to the Browns to inquire about Osweiler's availability, team sources tell ESPN's Adam Schefter. The Browns are expected to trade or release Osweiler before the 2017 season.
Romo is expected to be traded by the Cowboys.
"We are committed to bringing a championship to the city of Houston," Texans general manager Rick Smith said. "We are exhaustive in our efforts and the resources provided by the McNair family allow us to operate that way. We continuously evaluate our decisions and processes to ensure the results match our goals and objectives. The decision to trade Brock was made because it was in the best interest of the team. It frees up both cash and salary cap room to continue to improve our football team. We appreciate Brock's effort and leadership while he was with us and we wish him and his family well."
Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has adjusted the Texans' odds from 40-1 to 20-1 to win Super Bowl LII after they traded away Osweiler.
Houston's dealing of Osweiler is similar to a basketball trade; NBA teams routinely trade contracts to get them off of their books. That kind of move rarely happens in the NFL.
It's hard to remember another time in the salary-cap era when a team traded a contract to get it off of its books. But Houston was so eager to rid itself of Osweiler and turn the page to its next quarterbacking chapter that it gave Cleveland extra picks to take him and his contract.
The Browns headed into this free-agent signing period with more than $100 million in salary-cap space and would struggle to spend it all. Now they can devote some of it to Osweiler's contract and the extra draft picks from Houston.