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Cowboys Must Draft, Develop A QB For Future Success

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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.

Bryson Treece

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

19 Comments
  • Robert

    I agree with your assessment, regarding the Cowboys quarterback situation. With the Cleveland Browns, recent hire of hue Jackson as their head coach. I don't think the Cowboys will be able time draft a quarterback at #4. I was hoping the Cowboys organization would have a opportunity to draft jared goff. With Jackson hire, it appears that Goff is headed for the Browns. It also appears that Carson Wentz will be the Cowboys pick. I'm not excited about Wentz, as with goff. Goff would fix the Cowboys offense like a kids glove. Maybe, which I doubt, the Browns sign RG3, pass on goff. But you never know what the Cowboys will draft between now and April 2016. But I do agree with your assessment, regarding its time for Jerry to finally pull the trigger and draft Romo's heir apparent in the first round of the NFL Draft.

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      I like Wentz okay, about as much as Lynch, but I feel Lynch is the better talent long-term. Goff would be the ideal option for a QB that can play in our scheme, but the Browns are taking a QB in the 1st. I'm just not totally certain that Goff is the type of QB they want, so they may take Lynch and leave Goff for us.

  • Randy

    Bryson you are so spot on with this article and I'd like you to put it in an envelope and address it to Jerry Jones. Your analysis about all those down years hit the nail on the head. I believe it was Charlie Casserly that said you draft a QB every year in the draft because you always have to have the next guy on the roster and if you end up with 3 good ones then you have an embarrassent of riches. I think Goff is our guy and I sinceely hope that Cleveland doesn't snatch him first.

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      It's what the more dominant, lasting teams have done for years and there's a reason for it. No NCAA QB is NFL-ready come week 1. Some are forced to start week 1 but they're just doing their best not to get killed. You start with the right pedigree, a high talent draft selection, and you mold him. The Cowboys draft a lot of QBs, but they tend to take them in late rounds where the talent isn't as rich. Romo was a fluke. Brady was a fluke. If your plan is to take a guy few people wanted and turn him into a super star, then your plan is subject to luck. Better to stick with what works than play the odds year after year. Thanks for reading, Randy!

  • George Johnson

    I would just say one thing related to the article. I doubt any of these three QBs can beat out K Moore for the 2nd team QB during their rookie year. A rookie goes through a learning curve and transition. K Moore has four years NFL experience and now starting experience. A future franchise type QB like A Luck in his first year, could beat out K Moore for 2nd team in his rookie year but none of these three QBs are being compared to an A Luck or a franchise type QB. These three QBs could possibly replace Romo down the line. I also don't see K Moore replacing Romo, but he could surprise a lot of people. He is known for playing way better than anyone thinks he can play and he is extremely consistent. If he can improve from here watch out as he is not that far away from being a solid starter and the mistakes he made are very uncharacteristic for K Moore.

  • RJ Ochoa

    All in on this… As long as it's not at 4 Overall. #TeamImpact

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  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields

    Well, the more I've thought about this, the more I think they'll take a different position at #4 but perhaps trade back into the latter part of the 1st round if Carson Wentz or perhaps even Paxton Lynch are available after about pick #20. This is assuming the Browns draft Goff before we get a chance to.

    If the amateur draftniks are to be believed, none of these top three quarterbacks are worthy of an early 1st round pick anyway, so you'd imagine at least one of them would at least fall to the latter part of the 1st.

    I could definitely see the Cowboys pulling the trigger on something like that. They're coaching Wentz in the Senior Bowl so they'll get a lot of interaction with him anyway, and getting the 5th year option on a developmental quarterback like this is not an insignificant thing especially if you think Romo even *might* be around for 3 more seasons.

  • Daniel

    Why does everybody continue to stay on the Romo bandwagon? Kellen Moore outplayed him easily in half the time. Romo was 5 TDS/6 INTs 880 yds in five games, while KM had 4/5 770 yrds in 2.5 games in only his second start. Do you really believe that once Moore gets used to playing in the NFL speed that he won't improve. Besides if Dallas' defense could have stopped anybody KM would have won all three of this games. He had them leading until the defense just fell apart and got lost against the Bills and Jets. With the Redskins, he actually had their team back in the game until the defense got lost again. They need to fire the Sevondary coach or at least focus on that area in the draft first. Then they should get WRs that can actually catch and create seperation, then a DE (get rid of Hardy), then MLB (Lee keeps knocking himself out), then at the end you draft a QB who can push Moore and Romo.

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      I don't know why I'm even indulging this insane comment, but I am… Tony Romo played in 5 games in 2015? Cause I'm pretty sure he played 2 full games and 2 half games, meaning he played the same amount of time as Moore. The extra TD and 110 yards equaled 4 wins for Romo, 3 losses for Moore. So, to answer your question, the Romo bandwagon is alive and well because he wins games. A claim Kellen Moore cannot yet make; even with only 3 starts, he's got 4 years in the league! Come on, dude. #ThatsMyQB

    • Randy

      Daniel you must be a huge Boise State fan! Heck, we all want to see Moore develop into a great QB but before you go off thinking Moore is a future HOF'er, which Romo may or may not be, know that Romo is highly esteemed in the circles of people that know as one of the greatest QB's to play the game. You can knock him all you want for not winning the big one but if you look at the body of work, you cannot argue with the data. Your statement shows the lack of understanding that comes with just looking at stats. Did you even watch the game against the Redskins? In the first 5 drives of the game Dallas had 3 punts, 1 interception, and 1 fumble. The score was 24-0 before Moore did anything significant. By that time Washington was playing off of the receivers and it was easy for Moore to hit them because they were open. So Dallas got 2 easy touchdowns at the close of the half. When the second half opened, Washington tightened up and the first 4 possessions, Dallas had 2 punts, 1 interception 1 fumble. Dallas had no choice but to air it out and when Washington had a commanding lead they played off the receiver in prevent. So Moore's stats were artificially inflated. Against Buffalo Moore helped Dallas to 2 FG;s and threw an Int. In the Jets game, no TD's and 3 INT's. So before you take a guy that had one decent game against an opponent that was indifferent to the pass, and put him on a pedestal above a guy that has almost 35,000 passing yards, 250 TD's, and a lifetime rating of 97.1, you should really know a little something about football instead of just playing the Bronco homer card!

  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields

    InsideTheStar.com UserWhy does everybody continue to stay on the Romo bandwagon? Kellen Moore outplayed him easily in half the time.

    Well, for starters, the Romo bandwagon has been built on a foundation of nearly a decade of watching him play….

  • cjprine

    All I know is that taking Ramsey #1 and Henry #2 sounds great ! I think we fill 2 huge needs with immediate impact!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • RJ Ochoa

    Tony Romo bandwagon? I've seen everything.

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

    • Randy

      Yea RJ…didn't you see that Romo bandwagon! Its just getting started? Wanna get on it? LOL!

  • RJ Ochoa

    I'll take two tickets please!

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

  • cjprine

    Romo has probably been the most criticized QB!
    And I really can't say how someone is honestly going to compare Moore to Romo! Clearly we know where are as a team without him

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • RJ Ochoa

    Preach.

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

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

    Two tickets as well please.

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

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

    Two tickets as well please.

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

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