It's widely assumed that by the time the 2017 season starts, Tony Romo will no longer be a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Romo held down the starting quarterback job in Dallas for a decade, but another back injury and the surprising star turn of fourth-round rookie Dak Prescott led to Romo losing his spot this past season.

With a star quarterback on his rookie contract and needs elsewhere on the roster (especially on defense), the Cowboys are expected to seek a trade for Romo, who wants a chance to start. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seems to change his mind about where Romo will be next season every other week, and when asked about Romo's future at the Senior Bowl in Alabama, Jones decided it's better to just stop talking about it for a while.

"I'm not going to get into that at all -- whether we've talked or not," Jones said, per the Dallas Morning News. "We're at a juncture now that we need to just cool it in our public conversations about what we're going to be doing or not doing there with Tony."

No other Cowboys executive has really directly addressed the possibility of Romo being traded -- coach Jason Garrett gave a typically robotic non-answer at his final press conference of the year, Stephen Jones talked around it, and Will McClay hasn't spoken about it publicly -- so it appears Jerry is just trying to convince himself that he needs to stop talking about Romo trades.

Anything that gets said by or about the Cowboys as it relates to Romo from now until the free agency period opens is basically just a leverage play.

Most expect that he won't be with the team next season, and from there it just becomes a matter of which destinations intrigue Romo as possible landing spots and how much (or how little) the Cowboys are willing to accept in exchange for his services. They could always keep him on as a high-priced backup to Prescott and just move forward with arguably the league's best quarterback situation, but the Jones family and Garrett want to do right by Romo and augment the team's weaknesses in order to take another run at a Super Bowl.

Whatever happens between now and whenever Romo's future is ultimately decided, it's sure to be one of the most interesting stories of the NFL offseason.