The Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday opened discussions with representatives for quarterback Tony Romo on what might be a three- or four-year extension of his contract, team vice president Stephen Jones tells Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan.

“We have a great quarterback and he deserves to be paid,’’ says Jones, characterizing the initial talks as “informal.’’ “We have a good quarterback and we want to reward him. He’s in the last year of a contract and our goal is to not let the quarterback run out of contract.’’

Romo, who turns 33 in April, is entering the final year of a deal that has him scheduled to count $16.8 million against the 2013 salary cap.

The Cowboys have talked of Romo being a “partner’’ as the franchise works on ways to slice $20 million of excess from its cap.

Jones makes it clear the club is comfortable with Romo being its highest-paid player even as Dallas is coming off a pair of 8-8 seasons with the one-time undrafted free agent as its centerpiece.

“I think on this particular situation with Tony is we think we have a great quarterback and we want him to be our quarterback here for the next four to five years,” Jones says. “When you have a good one and you’re fortunate enough to have a good one, then he’s going to take up the biggest part of your cap space, so you have to be partners with one another and you have to do things. No one wants to win more, no one wants to have success more than Tony. He knows in order to do that we have to manage our cap and he plays a big part in that because the percentage of the cap that he takes.’’