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Even with Carson Palmer back, ESPN calls Cardinals ‘long shot’ to land Tony Romo

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, left, and former wide receiver Miles Austin, center rear, watch play between the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Upon Tony Romo’s resignation from the Dallas Cowboys’ starting quarterback job this season, NFL analysts were quick to see a future that included Romo donning the Arizona Cardinals’ red and white.

The key to that possibility, of course, was whether Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer would decide to hang up the cleats in 2017. He’s not.

Even so, there’s still what ESPN calls a “long shot” of the Cardinals trading for Romo. In the website’s “Destination Romo” feature, a whole 12 teams are considered when discussing where the veteran play-caller could end up as the Cowboys presumably move forward in the era of Dak Prescott, who led them to a 13-3 regular season record.

The Cardinals fall in the long shot category of trading for Romo because of Palmer’s return, but ESPN does say this:

Carson Palmer says he’s coming back, but if he were to change his mind or deal with an injury in August, Arizona is an obvious fit. Palmer’s situation is a reminder the Cowboys don’t necessarily have to move Romo, or move on, now.

And that last part is the kicker when considering any interest the Cardinals might have in Romo — and the Cowboys’ interest in moving him.

While Palmer changing his mind about playing in 2017 isn’t likely — you know, because he already made his decision — injuries could force Arizona’s hand. If a season-ending injury struck Palmer in what is perhaps the final year of a window where the Cardinals could win a Super Bowl for Larry Fitzgerald and even head coach Bruce Arians, acquiring Romo could be viewed as a desperation move.

By that same possibility on the Cowboys’ front, however, Romo is insurance if Prescott were injured.

Romo’s contract, which runs through 2019 and includes large cap hits even if he’s waived, complicates matters from Dallas’ end. From the contract standpoint alone, it’s quite hard to see the Cardinals having any interest at all considering Romo will make $14 million in 2017 and another $40 million over 2018-19.

Desperate measures would need to be needed for Arizona to even think about acquiring the Dallas backup.

And as of now, with Palmer signing up for another run, the Cardinals are far from desperate. Perhaps it’s more fitting to call the Cardinals a long shot to even give Jerry Jones a call.

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