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Cowboys Must Draft, Develop A QB For Future Success

I remember back in the day when Bill Parcells was H.C. in Dallas and the revolving door of has-been and never-was quarterbacks was in full swing, Tony Romo looked like just another Dallas QB that wouldn’t amount to anything. Then he took over one week against the Giants and came out swinging…

The truth is, we don’t know how much longer we can look forward to seeing Romo dazzle us (and opposing defenses) each Sunday, as Inside The Star newcomer Nick Cocchiaro succinctly stated earlier today in his article, Tony Romo: The Harsh Reality I Had To Come To Terms With. Every season, every game brings him closer to the day when he hangs it up for good, and that terrifies me, me and a whole lot of other Cowboys loyalists holding their breath each time he gets hit.

While I have firmly believed the Cowboys should address the quarterback position via the draft… I always thought it would be so Romo could train the young player for a seamless transition in a couple of years. ~ Nick Cocchiaro, InsideTheStar.com

The Cowboys need to plan ahead for something like this. The ‘Boys have been through the recycling bin time and time again and come up with bupkis for their efforts.

Kellen Moore, while oddly a huge fan favorite, is not the future of this team. He’s barely even a footnote on the 2015 season, let alone the franchise as a whole. His role as a backup isn’t even secure, and fans who believe he can somehow finagle a starting gig with the Cowboys are in denial. Plain and simple.

Next season will feature #9 as the starter at QB; there is no doubt about this. The optimism we held throughout the 2015 offseason for a fresh, rested back will be extended, carried over through the 2016 offseason. Romo will continue to proclaim his readiness to play football in 2016 and the offensive scheme and draft strategy will still center around him being the quarterback. Not that there’s much contention over that fact, but still.

The pungent aftertaste of a Cowboys team missing its leader is still with us all. Some have hopped on the Moore bandwagon and maintain their stance that the backup spot will be in his capable hands next season, but the team has made it pretty clear that their search for a workable backup is still ongoing, even now.

But whether Kellen Moore or some other veteran is backing up Romo in 2016 is irrelevant. It’s not an answer, but merely bides time.

Staff Writers Sean Martin and RJ Ochoa debated the merits of drafting a QB with the #4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft (Points for and Points against), and both made good arguments. But considering the history of the position since Troy Aikman retired should give us all pause.

dc-qb-aikman-romo1bBetween Troy Aikman and Tony Romo as starters, we saw one of the worst collections of quarterbacks this league should never see again. In order; Rodney Peete, Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Clint Stoerner, Ryan Leaf, Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Henson, Drew Bledsoe, Kurt Bollinger, Stephen McGee, Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, and Kellen Moore. That list includes backups who have started. 14 in all, since Aikman retired.

The scariest thing about that is knowing that Troy Aikman didn’t just start playing like crap one day, or even one season; it was a gradual decline that everyone saw coming. Yet the Cowboys front office at the time did little to prepare for it.

Ryan Leaf, Rodney Peete, and mid-to-late 2nd-round-pick Quincy Carter were the best they could come up with. None of whom have seen any real action elsewhere since the Cowboys moved on.

And we want to try that again? Absolutely! Call it for what it is; the Cowboys made some horrible draft selections when trying to find a QB after Aikman. And it started a dumpster fire full of 6-10 and 5-11 seasons that we had to endure. But there are some very key differences between the late 90s and early 00s Cowboys and this current one; namely, Stephen Jones, Will McClay, Jason Garrett, and Tony Romo. Yes, Tony Romo is included in that list.

Go back and watch any game from 2015 where Romo wasn’t on the field taking snaps and look at where he was, what he was doing. He was on the sidelines coaching up the quarterback in the game, he had a headset on and his Microsoft Surface Pro reviewing plays and communicating with coaches about what was happening on the field; that man was more than just an injured player in 2015. He was an assistant coach doing everything he could to help his team win.

So yeah, he’s on the list, because his input on the QBs of this 2016 draft class will be represented in the War Room come April.

They say it’s a weak draft class for quarterbacks, 2016, but there are three front-runners out there right now: Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch, and Carson Wentz. If you’re not familiar with them, check out Senior Analyst Ryan Ratty’s film review of each one by click on their names. Given the situation the Cleveland Browns are (always) in at the QB position, and the hiring of a new head coach for 2016, you can likely expect them to take one of either Goff or Lynch ahead of the Cowboys.

There is still a lot to be determined before the draft, as quarterback prospects are rarely graded  by on-field performance alone, but two or more of those guys are going to be around at #4 and one may possibly be the best player available on the Cowboys draft board. And people are saying we shouldn’t take one of them? Nah. Can’t do it.

I can’t sit by and watch another painful year of Weeden, Cassel and Moore under center, and I doubt the Cowboys can either. Drafting a QB is a must in 2016.

It’s still unclear if the Cowboys are even considering doing that with a top-5 pick, but there’s good reason to believe they might. The highest of which being that it’s a chance to bring in a very talented guy to learn from Tony Romo, Jason Garrett, and Wade Wilson; some of the best people in the world of professional quarterbacks. And with Will “The Architect” McClay leading the talent evaluations, it’s a no-brainer.

It’s time for the front office to trust their guys to do their jobs and make the smart, tough choices for the long-term health of this franchise, because Tony Romo isn’t going to be around forever.

What do you think?

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Written by Bryson T

Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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