Excerpt from: http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/24150 -- Edit: My thoughts below here, article and link above here -- When Bob Kraft met with Jerry Jones, Jones opened up to Robert Kraft and explained his theories on building an organization. Jones explained that in his mind, you NEED a player to build your franchise around. You need a player that fans will want to come and fill the stadium to see. You need a player to market, to sell jerseys, bumper stickers, and lunchboxes. Is it any wonder that Emmitt, Troy, and Micheal became household names in the '90s? Is it any wonder they were called "America's Team"? Jerry Jones made sure his players were stars, and made sure his team made headlines. Fast forward to Robert Kraft in the mid 1990s. Robert Kraft was starting from scratch. He began by signing Bledsoe to a large contract. Drew Bledsoe was the Patriots player to market and to hype. Regardless of Drew's abilities and shortcomings as a starting quarterback in the NFL, he is part of what made this franchise what it is today. Drew generated excitement about the Patriots. He was the "next Dan Marino". You want to see history in person, right? And I mean, you've GOT to have his rookie jersey. Do you know how much that would be worth? Excitement and marketablity lay the foundation for a good franchise because they affect a very important aspect of any sports organization: the bottom line. Even if you aren't winning tons of games every season, an exciting team will fill the stands. People went to see Barry Bonds break the home run record. It didn't matter if the Giants were relevant in terms of wins. Barry Bonds generated revenue for that franchise the same way Bledsoe did for the Patriots and Romo is doing for the Cowboys. Think about it this way: all those games you went to, all that Pats stuff you bought 10 years ago, that is funding the signing bonuses for the likes of Brady, Wilfork, Thomeas, etc today. That doesn't happen by accident. It happens by design. That gives the Patriots a financial edge. Turning it into championships is another beast entirely, but having that financial capability puts you in a position to win championships even if you don't take advantage of it. Being a large market team helps, but like the Red Sox of ~1920-~2000 proved, if you don't have the brainpower, your potential financial edge will remain untapped. That is why Jerry Jones signed Romo to that contract. That's why Drew Bledsoe got his contract. They were marketable. That marketability is part football skill, part personality. Are you sick of hearing how much Romo "loves to play the game"? I bet Jerry Jones isn't. I bet he hears "return on investment" every time somebody says that. Will Tony Romo lead the Cowboys to another super bowl victory? Maybe. Maybe not. Will he generate revenue for the Cowboys and put them in a position to achieve future success, with or without him? Absolutely. A good example of putting the financial edge to work is Adalius Thomas' contract. He got a monster signing bonus and has an average base salary. Many Patriots player's salaries are structured this way because it is more cap friendly. In order to pay out giant signing bonuses, you need a lot of cash on hand (liquid assets). The ability to pay out a 30m signing bonus is not trivial. It makes your salaries more cap friendly, and players are more likely to take it because they see the money now. At the very least it gives you flexibility. That's good business. That's putting your financial edge to work. That, my friends, is the anatomy of a winning franchise.