As the draft nears, I’m going to continue looking at players that make sense for the Dallas Cowboys. That said, I’m going to look at ten quarterbacks, ten running backs, ten wide receivers, ten linebackers, and ten defensive backs. Currently, I have scouted two quarterbacks, Paxton Lynch, and Jared Goff. If you’d like to view those articles, they’re available for you at the bottom of the screen.
The next quarterback prospect I’ll be scouting is Connor Cook from Michigan State. If Cook does get picked by the Cowboys, it will likely mean that the team would bypass on drafting a quarterback in the first round and instead take one in the second or even third round.
Cook is an intriguing quarterback prospect. At Michigan State, he’s been the main playmaker for one of the best collegiate programs for the past decade or so. Taking over the job towards the end of his freshman season, Cook has been known for having one of the higher quarterback ratings over the past three years. Let’s finally get to the breakdown of Cook and how he projects to the NFL.
Whenever you find a college quarterback of making an NFL-level throw, it needs to be pointed out and that’s exactly what Cook does here:
Cook’s arm isn’t exactly strong, but it’s not weak either. He likes to stay in the pocket and get the ball out quickly. You don’t see him take many chances with the football. This throw is a good one because he puts the ball only to where his receiver can get to it.
The next pass is a big problem with Cook. Whenever a quarterback overthrows a receiver, it’s truly unacceptable. There’s no reason for Cook to sail this pass, but he does and it leads to an easy interception for the defense. The worst part is that his intended man was wide open.
The next pass is one of the best throws I’ve seen from Cook. On this throw, Cook shows off his touch, putting a football right on the money to his receiver down the field. Also, notice that this play came on fourth down.
It’s clear to me that Cook is most comfortable when he’s in the pocket. Here’s a throw from the pocket that shows arm strength, getting the football through a zone in the middle of the field.
Going back to Cook’s ability to put excellent touch on the football, I truly believe that his touch stems from his footwork as well as his mechanics in the football. Cook looks extremely professional in the pocket, showing the ability to go through his reads and knowing where his check-down is at all times. Here’s another example of his touch.
The next throw shows Cook’s poise, anticipation, and touch all paired in one. This is the type of throw NFL coaches will appreciate out of the Michigan State product.
After watching Cook, it’s easy to see how he excels within his pro-style offensive scheme. Cook’s arm is solid. It’s not on the level of a Jay Cutler, but he puts enough power on the ball to get the football in tight windows. With the right cast of players around him, I think Cook has the skill-set to succeed. But if he is placed in the wrong situation with a bad coaching staff, I think Cook will fail, this leads to my next point.
There have been a ton of reports regarding Cook’s attitude and his dedication towards the team and not to himself. Unfortunately, I’m of the belief that Cook is an arrogant football player. Obviously, with just four career losses, it’s clear that Cook is a proven winner. However, he’s done all of this with an excellent defense and an excellent cast of players around him.
There’s a ton to like out of Cook nevertheless. He has good size for an NFL quarterback, a good arm, and he has a great understanding of defensive schemes and what to do when the pocket collapses. Unfortunately, I struggle to believe how Cook will perform in the NFL when defenses are better and coaching staffs are smarter. Cook looks the part for an NFL quarterback, but I doubt his current skill-set will make him a starter off the bat in the NFL.
How does Cook fit in Dallas? With Tony Romo‘s age as well as his back and clavicle issues, the time is now for the Dallas Cowboys to look into finding his successor and while Cook may not be the guy right away, with some developing, he could turn into an above-average quarterback in the NFL. However, because of his character concerns as well as his reliability to the scheme he’s playing in, I doubt Dallas is the team he’ll end up with.
Games watched: Oregon, Penn State, Ohio State
Next up on the docket: Carson Wentz