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Cowboys Draft: QB Options for Rounds 1-4

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Draft: QB Options for Rounds 1-4

The Cowboys fan base, since the start of draft season, has split into groups that support one player or another joining the team with the upcoming fourth overall pick. These "teams" seem to all have vocal leaders on Twitter and other platforms, and perhaps no one has been steering the Jared Goff ship harder than I have.

I am all for Dallas drafting a quarterback in the first round, especially if Goff is in play, but also understand the needs at other positions. I explained why I changed my mind on Joey Bosa after the Randy Gregory suspension.

I also made another case for a group of backs they should target in the later rounds.

Whatever player you would love to see this team end up with in the first round, the truth of the matter is that the success of the team will rely just as heavily on their later round picks as well. At some point in the 2016 NFL Draft, one of these picks needs to be a quarterback.

That is something that the entire fan base should be able to agree on after watching Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, and Kellen Moore collectively win just one game. Tony Romo won the Giants, Eagles, and Dolphins games for us - but now carries serious sustainability issues, as Staff Writer RJ Ochoa pointed out.

Let's examine four quarterbacks that could be selected by the Cowboys sometime in the first four rounds.

Draft Blog - Dallas Cowboys Draft: Jared Goff Film Review

Round 1 - Jared Goff

This pick requires little explanation. If indeed the Cowboys are serious about drafting a quarterback in the first round, I believe Goff is their guy. While Carson Wentz is a great prospect, I just do not see this team slotting him ahead of players like Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack on their board.

Goff is my top QB in this class, is a great fit for Dallas, and could benefit greatly from not having to start right away. This pick would make sense, and I would be all for it, but there are of course other very viable options in the later rounds...

Round 2 - Christian Hackenberg

Hackenberg is one of the more interesting QB prospects in recent years. A college career that started with so much promise turned into a story of disappointment and inconsistency - mired in coaching changes at Penn State along with terrible play in his offensive line.

The Cowboys could view Hackenberg as a very high value pick at #34 overall, because he would have gotten past teams near the bottom half of the first round like Houston who will seemingly have interest. They certainly have the offensive line to protect him come the day he has to step in, and in time, Christian Hackenberg could become a very talented NFL passer.

Round 3 - Dak Prescott

Prescott was impressive at the NFL Combine, and with quarterbacks like Cam Newton taking over the position, his overall stock has risen. Prescott likely best fits at the next level in a short-passing style offense, but sitting behind Tony Romo will only further develop his all around skills.

By the time he is expected to start, the Cowboys could have the offensive personnel in place to join the latest NFL trend and play the athletic Prescott at QB in a system that he can thrive in.

Round 4 - Jeff Driskel

I scouted Jeff Driskel right here on InsideTheStar.com, and was impressed with what I saw. In reading what pro scouts have to say about the former Florida Gator turned LA Tech Bulldog, the knock on Driskel has been his field processing speed along with inability to quickly get the ball out of his hands.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Draft: QB Options for Rounds 1-4 2

To me, these are two of the easiest things to fix once Driskel is brought into Dallas in his first seasons to simply learn the offense. The mental speed of the game will improve with each rep he gets, while the ball will come out of his hands faster as receivers like Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley break open.

Should the Cowboys be in a position to draft Goff and not take him, they can make up for it in my books by potentially stealing Driskel in the fourth round.

Also in the mix: Connor Cook, Jacoby Brissett, Nate Sudfeld, Kevin Hogan

 

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Draft: QB Options for Rounds 1-4" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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9 Comments
  • George Johnson

    Sean Martin: You continue to put Kellen Moore in the same category as Weeden and Cassel. l don't think this is correct and doesn't demonstrate good analysis. K Moore is very likely to earn the 2nd team QB position in 2016 over any QB in the draft but you don't acknowledge that. This is because there are no franchise/can't miss type QBs in the draft. A drafted QB will be adjusting to the NFL/new coaches/new system and learning the Dallas offense/playbook. K Moore has four years NFL experience, some starting experience, has worked with S Linehan for over two years and knows the Dallas offense/playbook well. You don't seem to realize like most people how good K Moore really is at pocket passing. His 2015 performance while pretty good overall per S Linehan, was his first time playing against first team defenses and the deficiencies K Moore had are areas he has always excelled at, so is likely to improve/correct those quickly. K Moore will be going into 2016 with renewed confidence and the confidence of S Linehan. K Moore is likely to play as well or outplay T Romo in preseason games. While I don't think K Moore will ever be as good as T Romo, because of his physical limitations, I have not written him off yet that he cannot replace T Romo at some point. To not acknowledge that K Moore may be as good or better than any QB in the draft is to not recognize how good he really is at pocket passing. Don't take my word for it as a K Moore fan but listen to what his college coach, Peterson, said, and I quote: " KELLEN MOORE IS THE BEST POCKET PASSER I HAVE EVER SEEN".

    • Grumpy

      Yes, I do believe he is better than any of the flunky QBs we had, but not sure he is the final answer. Some of the lower draft QBs look to be more accomplished and there needs to be some competition.

  • George Johnson

    Sean Martin: For some reason my response disappeared. I will respond again as I think it is important. Your analysis puts K Moore in the same category as Cassel and Weeden. This is not correct. I realize you are concerned about T Romo's replacement not about K Moore. None of the QBs in this years draft are being given a label of franchise/can't miss prospects. Therefore K Moore is likely to beat out any of these QBs for the 2nd team QB position in 2016. This is because K Moore will have lots of experience to draw on, the confidence of S Linehan and will know the Dallas offense/playbook well. A drafted QB will be in a big adjustment/learning curve. That doesn't mean one of them couldn't replace T Romo in a couple of years. K Moore played pretty well overall in 2015 per S Linehan. This is especially true when you consider it was his first time playing against first team defenses. He is likely to improve/correct his deficiencies from 2015 because these deficiencies are areas K Moore has excelled at in the past. I have not written off K Moore yet, that he can never replace T Romo. I don't think he will ever be as good as T Romo because of his physical limitations, but that doesn't mean he can't start someday if he keeps improving. Your analysis seems to ignore all of this and leaves the reader with the impression that either K Moore will be 3rd team in 2016 or not on the roster. I realize you don't say this but if Goff is drafted with the fourth pick it would be assumed he will be the 2nd team QB, which I doubt. This is very unlikely especially since S Linehan thinks highly of K Moore and K Moore is likely to be very confident going into 2016 and will also likely do very well in preseason. He may in fact do as well or better than T Romo. That would not surprise me at all. You don't realize how good K Moore really is. This is probably because he was not drafted and does not look like an NFL QB. He has already proven he should have been drafted and can play in the NFL either as a solid backup or a starter.

  • http://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/ Sean Martin

    As a fan, I want the depth chart behind Romo for 2016 to be a little more promising than "a solid backup OR starter", as you described Moore. Not only is that what Moore basically is, but that is likely close to his ceiling. While I believe a rookie like Goff would beat out Moore for the second spot, I'm willing to give you that Moore deserves that chance to compete. I say this because Garrett preaches competition, and I am a big fan of Coach Garrett. Even as the #2 QB, Goff in his rookie year wouldn't be much more than a solid backup and perhaps a potential starter, but at least you would have some serious room to grow.

    While Moore and Linehan can still work together to grow, I don't ever see them reaching a level at which Moore becomes the future of this franchise or any other one – considering he was passed on in waivers. I have nothing against the kid, and respect that he plays hard, but I did not live through the Aikman to Romo gap and have no intentions of experiencing something similar.

    Even if it is not Goff that the Cowboys go with, not bringing in a rookie in any round to compete with Moore would be foolish. If you would like, I have a scouting report on the site for Jeff Driskel. He's a guy I would like to have in the later rounds along with Dak Prescott.

    • Grumpy

      right on!!!

  • Mr. Bamboozaul

    Sean you're the Man. I once again agree with your assessment of Goff. The Cowboys would be returning to elite status of the 70's /90's Cowboys teams with Goff at quarterback. Goff is that special, period. I noticed at the nfl combine, that Jerry, Stephen, Garrett , Linehan and McClay was in attendance, when Goff performed during the quarterback drills, Only Garrett stayed behind for the rest of the NFL Combine. Finally, it's lying season, so whatever is said in the media, you have to take with a grain of salt. The question is can Romo back hold up for the next 3-4 years, except the Romo Wednesday to continue, father time is undefeated.

  • http://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/ Sean Martin

    Thank you for reading! Certainly could be an elite offense with Goff down the line depending on who else is added by the time he (hopefully) has to start. One addition I've been advocating for comes in this upcoming draft – Utah's Devontae Booker.

  • RJ Ochoa

    #TeamDak

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

  • http://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/ Sean Martin

    #TeamDriskel

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app. Check out InsideTheStar.com!

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Report: Dallas Cowboys to Sign Free Agent Wide Receiver Brice Butler

John Williams

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5 Bye Week Adjustments Cowboys Hopefully Made

The Dallas Cowboys look to be making a move at the wide receiver position as they attempt to bring some life to the position. No they aren't trading for Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon, but bringing back former Wide Receiver Brice Butler.

According to a report from Saad Yousuf from The Athletic, the Dallas Cowboys are set to resign the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver but first have to release someone from the 53-man roster.

Saad Yousuf on Twitter

Cowboys officials are in the process of signing wide receiver Brice Butler, multiple sources tell @TheAthleticDFW. The team has to make a roster move to bring Butler onto the 53 and is trying to decide whom to release to make room for Butler before a final decision is made.

Brice Butler was signed in the offseason by the Arizona Cardinals but was released after training camp. It was a surprising move for the Cardinals. They don't have a ton of wide receiver depth aside from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.

Butler's caught 73 passes on 133 targets for 1,177 yards and eight touchdowns in his five career. In 36 games with the Dallas Cowboys Brice Butler caught 43 passes on 81 targets for 794 yards and six touchdowns. In his time in Dallas, he averaged 18.5 yards per reception.

He never really got a lot of playing time with the Dallas Cowboys who had Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley and Jason Witten on the team for the duration of his time in Dallas. The Cowboys coaching staff placed a higher premium on Terrance Williams' run blocking than Butler's big play ability.

To the coaching staff's credit, Butler was never a consistent enough player to be relied upon week in and week out. In 2017, his last season in Dallas, Brice Butler was never targeted more than three times a game and he never caught more than two passes a game. Butler, however, only played 24.51% of the Dallas Cowboys' offensive snaps in 2017.

If the Dallas Cowboys do make this move it's at a curious time. Sources tell 247 Sports' Mike Fisher that the Dallas Cowboys have zero interest at the moment in Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon. You'd think their lack of interest would be because they still like the wide receiver room as it is.

If they do complete the signing of Brice Butler, you'd have to expect that Deonte Thompson would be the wide receiver on the chopping block. They cut him at the end of the preseason and then brought him back during week one.

This signing is unlikely to have an impact on the Dallas Cowboys week two matchup with the New York Giants, but will probably be completed early Monday to get Butler to Frisco to begin preparing for their week three matchup.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

I don't think this is a move that makes a lot of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. They've been down that road before and haven't received the results they wanted. Brice Butler does offer some big play ability, but it was thought that is why they brought in Deonte Thompson and Tavon Austin. Is it possible the Dallas Cowboys are already down on those two players after one game? They wouldn't be bringing Butler back if they didn't have plans for him.

Good or bad, do you think bringing Brice Butler back is the right move for the Dallas Cowboys?



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Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon’s Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency

Sean Martin

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Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon's Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency

It's Sunday morning and the Cleveland Browns are expected to make a questionable decision by tomorrow, which is far from news for a Dallas Cowboys team waiting around for a crucial Sunday Night Football home game tonight. With Cleveland expected to part ways with troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon though, the Cowboys have understandably been linked to Gordon, even more so now with the talented pass catcher stating his own interest in America's Team.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

As teams discuss potentially trading for outgoing #Browns WR Josh Gordon, I'm told he's got his eye on two in particular: The #Cowboys and the #49ers.

Before looking into this any further, it's necessary to point out an all-important missing detail. Without any reports of the Cowboys own interest in Gordon, the soon-to-be free agent is simply the latest player to say he'd like to play for the Cowboys - hardly anything new for the Jones.

The Cowboys need for a player like Gordon has never been more evident though. Heavily criticized throughout the offseason for how they handled their wide receivers, the Cowboys passing game was a non-factor in the team's 16-8 week one loss.

Signing or trading for Gordon could do little to fix this, but the risk may also prove worthwhile for Dallas. The Baylor Bears product did put up 1,646 yards in 2013 with minimal talent around him, and has a career 17.3 yards per reception.

His ability to take the top off a defense is something the Cowboys are sorely missing. What they won't miss from not acquiring Gordon is the off-field trouble, taking on a player that missed all of 2015 and 2016 due to suspension.

Last season,  Gordon was reinstated for the Browns final five games.

The NFL is, at least cautiously, easing their policy on players suspended for marijuana usage. Look no further than the Cowboys own Randy Gregory to prove this, as Gregory has already become a success story for the league by being with the Cowboys this season.

Whether or not Gregory plays on Sunday night (officially listed as DOUBTFUL) after suffering a concussion in his long-awaited return last week is yet to be determined. So too is Josh Gordon's future as the latest player on his way out of Cleveland.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

From @gmfb Weekend: The #Browns plan to release Josh Gordon after he showed up late, injured his hamstring during a photo shoot, and in general completely lost their trust. https://t.co/cX2HGZPBXi

I'm of the belief that Gordon won't last long on the open market, meaning this won't be the latest Cowboys story/non-story to drag through the presses. Any fan looking to pass time between now and kickoff against the Giants could probably find me saying the same about free agent WR Dez Bryant however.

Thanks to Bryant still being a free agent along with former Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey, the team has looked smarter than expected in the long-term on moves like these.

If there's a smart way to bring on Josh Gordon, Dallas should be considering that too.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon’s Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Is Dak Prescott’s Relationship with Scott Linehan Broken?

John Williams

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Is Dak Prescott's Relationship with Scott Linehan Broken?

As the final whistle sounded last Sunday with the Carolina Panthers coming away victorious over your Dallas Cowboys, it was pretty clear there were a lot of things wrong with the offense. Many pointed to Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan and the play calling. Others to the offensive line. Others to Quarterback Dak Prescott. And others to the wide receivers.

There was plenty of blame to go around in an offensive performance that left Cowboys Nation struggling for answers. Simply put, there wasn't much good from that side of the football in their 16-8 loss. 

Well, as this week has gone on in preparation for the New York Giants Sunday night, there have been answers to questions from within the organization that make me, an outsider, feel really awkward about the relationships inside the organization. Particularly on the offensive side of the football. 

There was this from Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan responding to Troy Aikman's critique of a lack of creativity in the play calling of Linehan.

"People have their own opinions. It's hard to be super creative when you're having loss-yardage plays, to be honest with you. But I thought we had some really good stuff for the game that we couldn't use. But he's entitled to whatever opinion he has about that. It's our job to go out and show him that we have some stuff that maybe he'll be impressed with."

Scott Linehan - via Jon Machota, Sports Day DFW

Then this from Wide Receiver Allen Hurns. 

Brandon George on Twitter

Cowboys WR Allen Hurns on loss to Carolina: "Statistically people are going to say we didn't play well. If you really break down the game, we created separation. That's what you want to do as a wideout.

With Dak Prescott speaking to the media on Thursday, some interesting nuggets of information came out about the communication that takes place on game day between Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan, Quarterback Coach Kellen Moore, and Quarterback Dak Prescott.

Namely Dak described Kellen Moore as a "mediator" between the quarterback and the offensive coordinator.

“Kellen, I guess you call him the mediator at that point, when I come to the sideline. Me and him talk about what we saw and then he gets on the headset and he’s talking with Linehan. Then he’ll get back to me with what Linehan’s thinking with the plays and stuff that we’re working towards, so it’s been great.”

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys Quarterback

Count 1310 The Ticket's Bob Sturm as one of many confused by Dak's statement about Moore as the go between.

Bob Sturm on Twitter

Thought it was really interesting to day that Dak said he talks to Kellen Moore and QB coach Kellen Moore talks to Linehan. Linehan doesn't talk directly to his QB during the game. I think that is weird.

It's becoming clear that there is a huge disconnect between the play caller and his quarterback and this disconnect is affecting everyone on the offensive side of the ball.  

Everyone, after one week, appears to be placing blame on someone else, which is really odd to me. Normally, when a unified group of players is asked a question that may lead to finger-pointing, they don't really answer the question.

Above, you can see that Hurns basically said, it wasn't the wide receivers' fault. Linehan, reacting to Troy Aikman's comments about the lack of creativity in the offense, placed the reason for the lack of creativity on the players. And Dak Prescott appears to allude to a really odd communication structure.

It has me wondering, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, if there is a trust issue with the Dallas Cowboys offensive staff and players.

Trust is a very important aspect of any group of people who work together to meet a common goal. Football is no different. As far as team sports go, the NFL requires a strong sense of trust and commitment to one another to make the intricacies of an NFL offense work.

As Preseason Begins, Does Prescott Have a "Go-To" Receiver After All?

Oct 8, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) congratulates wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) after a touchdown in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The coach has to trust that the player he's calling the plays for. If the play caller doesn't trust the players to execute, he's going to be much more conservative than he should be. A play caller who trusts his players will allow them to play and will be aggressive in his game planning and play calling. 

The player has to trust that the play caller is putting the player(s) in the best position possible to succeed. If the players don't trust the play caller, they aren't going to buy in to the offensive scheme. If they don't buy in to the offensive scheme then there may not be the necessary effort put in to see the scheme succeed. 

From the outside looking in, the relationship between quarterback and play caller seems fractured.  It's not a good sign for the relationship of the two men tasked with guiding this offense that there is a mediator involved in their communication. If there is an issue in the relationship that is leading to poor communication, then the Dallas Cowboys leadership structure -- Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Jason Garrett -- need to make a change to better enhance offensive communication.

They aren't going to change quarterbacks at this point in the season. The move they can make that Head Coach Jason Garrett appears unwilling to make, is changing who calls the plays. If the relationship between Linehan and Prescott is such that Kellen Moore needs to act as "mediator," then the time has come to change the play caller. Whether it's Moore who takes the reigns or Garrett who returns to calling plays, the change may need to be made soon to salvage this season. 

Trust is a very valuable resource in any organization. It's the reason that Jason Garrett has remained head coach for as long as he has. The ownership trusts him. 

The lack of trust that appears to exist between Dak Prescott and Scott Linehan is something that not only hurts their relationship, but the chemistry with the entire offense. 

Football may be the greatest team sport in the world. And as such it requires a high level of chemistry . It requires everyone on offense and defense buying into their respective schemes and trusting each other to execute those schemes. 

Obviously a win against the Giants would go a long way toward healing whatever wounds exist between Prescott and Linehan. A loss however could potentially deepen a divide between the quarterback and his coordinator.



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