IRVING, Texas - Tony Romo won't have to wait until the offseason to get his big payday from the Dallas Cowboys after all.
Romo has agreed to a six-year, $67 million deal that includes $30 million in guaranteed money, according to a person familiar with the deal who requested anonymity because the contract has not been signed. A formal announcement is expected today
'Right now, we're just talking, but it's closer than it was before,' Romo said late Monday. 'I feel like I'm going to be with the Cowboys the rest of my career, definitely. I love it.'
Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple said the team would have no announcements Monday night. Other club officials did not immediately return calls.
Ken Kramer, who negotiated the contract for Romo, also was not available for comment.
Convinced Romo is the reliable leader the Cowboys have been looking for since Troy Aikman's career ended in 2000, team owner Jerry Jones got the deal done in time for some of the dollars to apply to this season's salary cap.
It also is done in plenty of time to ensure that Romo will be the face of the franchise in 2009, when the Cowboys move into a $1 billion stadium that can seat up to 100,000 fans.
'It's a great feeling you have when the organization and the people stand behind you, and you can be the quarterback for a long, long time,' Romo said. 'It's a neat feeling that, 'You're our guy, we like you.' ... It makes you feel good as a person and a player.'
Pennington Sacked As Jets' Starting QB
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - Chad Pennington's tenure as the New York Jets' starting quarterback is over.
Coach Eric Mangini announced Monday he is going with Kellen Clemens as his starter for Sunday's game against Washington. It's a move fans and media have been suggesting for weeks as the Jets have struggled to a 1-7 start.
'I made this decision not based on singling out Chad for where we are, but based on the fact that I think Kellen has earned this opportunity,' Mangini said. 'I want to give him this opportunity. It's in no way an indication that Chad is solely responsible. We all are.'
Clemens, in his second season out of Oregon, replaced an ineffective Pennington late Sunday in the Jets' 13-3 loss to Buffalo. His entrance was cheered by those remaining at Giants Stadium. He was just 5-for-12 for 67 yards and two interceptions, but one of those came on a desperation toss as time expired.
'It's exciting to have the opportunity and I'm looking forward to the chance to play,' Clemens said. 'At the same time, there's a losing streak right now that this entire team needs to work hard to turn around.'
After waiting until last Wednesday to keep Pennington as the starter, Mangini didn't need the extra time to make his choice this week. Mangini called each quarterback into his office separately and told them of his decision.
'Coach made it clear that I'm not the villain here,' Pennington said. 'And I'm not the only one to blame for the lack of our success or our problems, but he did feel like Kellen deserved a chance.'
BILLS: Coach Dick Jauron gave the quarterback revolving door another spin Monday, a day after Trent Edwards sprained his right wrist and watched from the sideline while J.P. Losman stepped in to lead the Bills to a 13-3 win against the New York Jets.
Jauron said it's too early to determine whether Edwards' throwing hand will recover in time to play this weekend when the Bills (3-4) host Cincinnati (2-5).
'Come back on Wednesday and we'll talk about it a little more,' Jauron said.
FALCONS: Coach Bobby Petrino met with cornerback DeAngelo Hall, trying to sort out their differences over the release of defensive tackle Grady Jackson.
Both said they were ready to move on after getting together privately before practice.
Hall openly questioned the direction of the Falcons after Jackson was released last week, despite being one of the team's most effective linemen.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Hall already was fined $100,000 this season for a sideline shouting match with Petrino during a game against Carolina. He wasn't disciplined for his criticism of Jackson's release, which he said made it look as though the team had given up on this season and already was looking ahead to 2008.
LIONS: The team and Charles Rogers are scheduled for a grievance hearing Wednesday before an arbitrator in the Detroit area. The team is seeking more than $10 million of its former receiver's $14-plus million signing bonus because he was suspended for four games in 2005 for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
TITANS: Long snapper Ken Amato tore his right anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season.