So why did the Cowboys officially inform teams that they can contact quarterback Tony Romo for the purposes of setting up a visit, workout, or physical? Logic, to the extent it applies in a situation like this, points to a clear and easy answer.
It’s a face-saving, box-checking move by the team as a precursor to releasing Romo. Yes, they want to trade him. They apparently can’t. So before simply cutting him loose, the Cowboys need to at least go through the motions of giving someone permission to do the things that would be done before a trade that won’t get done gets done.
Sure, the Cowboys probably should have pushed back a lot more aggressively when the notion first surfaced in the media that Romo would asked to be released, and that the team would comply. That was the moment to slam the door shut on talk of that type, given that it took on a life of its own — and convinced any interested teams that they simply need to sit back and wait.
Something happened between March 8 and March 9, the day the Cowboys told Romo he’d be released and the day the Cowboys decided not to, at least not yet. So the Cowboys have waited for nearly a month for someone to express interest in trading for Romo, and they haven’t.
So why put the word out now that he’s available for visits, workouts, and physicals? Because many will be ready to blame the Cowboys if/when Romo goes elsewhere and plays well enough to take a team to places where the Cowboys haven’t been in 22 years and counting: The conference title game and the Super Bowl.
By making it known to all teams that they’ve officially tried to trade Romo, the Cowboys can shrug their shoulders a week from now and declared to the world, “I guess no one wants him.”
The reality is they should have tried harder months ago to shout down the notion the Romo could be released. For now, though, their only play is to try to create the impression that they’ve officially tried to trade him, before they inevitably release him.