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NFL Draft

Replacing Tony Romo: Cowboys Should Avoid Paxton Lynch

Sean Martin



Cowboys Headlines - Replacing Tony Romo: Cowboys Should Avoid Paxton Lynch

We are just over a month away from the 2016 NFL Draft, which means that we will slowly start to get a better idea of who the Dallas Cowboys are targeting with the fourth overall pick.

Any rumors of the Cowboys draft plans so far have typically turned out to be just that - rumors that carried little insight into who will be wearing the silver and blue on April 28th.

However, one name has been picking up steam recently around Cowboys Nation, and it is quarterback Paxton Lynch out of Memphis.

After the likes of Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, and Kellen Moore, led the Cowboys to a 4 win 2015 season, the immediate reaction by fans was that this team needed to walk away from the fourth overall pick with the heir to Tony Romo.

That essentially put three names into the mix. Carson Wentz and Jared Goff out of North Dakota State and California, respectively, were two popular names as the near consensus top signal callers available this year.

The last name is Paxton Lynch, who likely won't cost Dallas that fourth overall pick. While I do not expect the team to select Wentz or Goff with this pick, the reports over the past few days have been that Will McClay and Co. are trying to get back into the first round to put themselves in a position to grab Lynch later on.

The Cowboys have glaring needs at other positions outside of the backup QB spot. If they are committed enough to spend the assets needed to get back into the first round for Lynch, trading away picks that can be used on the defensive line and secondary, I much rather see them just use their current #4 pick on Goff or Wentz.

Not only would this allow the Cowboys to hold onto their 34th pick and beyond, but they would walk away with one of two QBs in Goff or Wentz that I believe are both better prospects than Lynch.


The Cowboys have selected just one quarterback in the draft during their time with Tony Romo, and it was Stephen McGee in 2009. Something just does not sit right with me when I hear about this team seriously considering the unpolished Lynch as their next best bet to add a young QB to the roster.

While drafting any player with any pick carries it's own risk, trusted draft sources seem to be in agreement when it comes to Goff and Wentz. Both of these quarterbacks are being conceived as franchise guys, while Lynch's analysis has been all over the place.

If the Cowboys draft Goff of Wentz and it does not work out, it will not be due to reaching with their selection for one of them. The team and it's fans would be surprised right along with the majority of draft analysts out there should one of these two guys not pan out as a Cowboy - especially after getting valuable learning time behind Tony Romo.

Meanwhile, drafting Lynch would mean drafting an expensive project player. When I watch Paxton on tape, I see a QB that is going to have to put in serious work in order to adjust to the speed of the NFL game.

While everyone raves about his height and composure in the pocket, I see a QB that played in a system that rarely allowed him to make professional type throws. He's drawn comparisons to Marcus Mariota, but isn't nearly as dangerous of a runner - which leaves him in a bit of a grey area when it comes to projecting these modern spread quarterbacks at the next level.

If the Dallas Cowboys want to leave the first round of the draft with a QB, it should cost them one pick. That one pick can be spent on the upside of Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, or they can spend multiple picks on the project that is Paxton Lynch.

Tell us what you think about "Replacing Tony Romo: Cowboys Should Avoid Paxton Lynch" in the comments below. You can also email me at, 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 every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

  • Jess Haynie

    I'm with you. Lynch and Connor Cook are both Round 1-2 guys who I have no interest in.

  • Sean Martin

    Take Goff or Wentz at 4, or walk away with your QB in the fourth round.

  • Mr. Bamboozaul

    Sean I will be Goff ing, when it's the Cowboys turn to select the heir apparent to Romo.

  • George Johnson

    The real question is are these two QBs, Goff and Wentz, high probability of being franchise type QBs? If they are questionable as franchise type QBs I would not take a chance of wasting a fourth pick on them. Dallas could be as good as the 2014 team easily with a couple of good draft picks. They especially need more pass rushing and better secondary help. If T Romo gets hurt, Goff and Wentz aren't going to help you in 2016 and may not even help that much in 2017. These rookie QBs will be going through a big learning/development curve. If a fair competition is done, neither one of them would likely be able to beat out Kellen Moore in 2016 for the 2nd team QB position.

    • Jess Haynie

      My main man, George. You were saying some really good stuff about the risks of using the 4th pick on a QB. I agree with you that you have to completely in love with the guy to make that move. Any sense of concern about his pro potential should be an immediate disqualifier. But then you said that thing at the end about Kellen Moore. Kellen Moore was an undrafted player who so far has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns and only completed 59% of his passes. I respect your loyalty to the guy and what you believe he's capable of, but asserting that he is automatically better than the two best quarterbacks in the draft is completely illogical. We have no evidence of that whatsoever.

      • George Johnson

        Jess Haynie: This is my understanding and I would be the first to admit I could be wrong. I don't think Kellen Moore is better than the two best quarterbacks in the draft. I didn't mean to imply that. What I was trying to say is that I think K Moore is likely (not for sure) to beat out either one of these guys for the 2nd team QB position in 2016 in a fair competition. This is because a rookie QB goes through some adjustments and development and Kellen Moore is a fairly experienced QB at this point who knows the Dallas offense/playbook well. If they are future stars and franchise type QBs that shows up quickly in preseason, then yes they are likely to outplay Kellen Moore in preseason. Also, if they are a fourth pick they could automatically be given the 2nd team QB position with no competition with anybody. As you know I am very optimistic on K Moore going into 2016. This is because 1) he has improved each year in the NFL and will be on his fifth year, 2) now has some starting experience, 3) has worked with S Linehan for two plus years, 4) has S Linehan's confidence, 5) knows the Dallas offense/playbook well and 5) will likely improve/correct his deficiencies from 2015 because they were areas he has excelled at in the past and he was playing against first team defenses for the first time. He will be riding high and confidently going into 2016 and has always played better than anyone thinks he can play. I wouldn't be surprised if he outplayed T Romo or at least played as well in the preseason games.

  • Sean Martin

    Well that's where the "fun" comes in when evaluating QBs. The last QB that virtually had no dispute in potential was Luck. Ever since, the Mariota's and Winston's of the world have been titled as everything from the next John Elway to Ryan Leaf. I would say that Goff and Wentz are certainly questionable, but the talent and upside is very good with them.

    Add in the ability to groom one of these two for a few years, and you should expect to have something special. While that expectation could still fall short, it should not shy Dallas away from using the fourth overall pick on a QB because it will cost even more to get Lynch. You would be giving up later picks that could be used on that pass rusher or defensive back, as mentioned in the article.

    While Goff and Wentz may not help a ton in their playing time for 2016 should Romo go down, they would at least be getting valuable experience. That should be worth something to fans, even if the team is losing, compared to the 2015 alternative of losing with QBs that had no hope of factoring into our future plans.

    The second we started losing games with Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel, the season felt pointless.

  • RJ Ochoa


    I'm with you that QB is the unwise pick at #4. I'm down with that.

    I will say that I'd rather have a QB than Bosa, FWIW. I know Sean is in agreement with me there.

    I want to give you the chance to sell me on Moore. Show me something. Film. Data. Indisputable evidence from their 2015 seasons (Moore's, Goff's, & Wentz's) that suggests Kellen is easily going to beat them out for the backup job.

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

    • George Johnson

      RJ Ochoa: I don't have indisputable evidence. My understanding is that Goff and Wentz are not likely to be franchise type QBs. I don't really know a lot about them other than a few things I have read. I also don't necessarily think K Moore would easily beat them out for the 2nd team QB position in 2016. I said he is likely to beat them out. My logic is that Goff and Wentz will be rookies. Rookies usually go through a big learning curve and development process, which takes time. There have been exceptions such as A Luck. Some great current franchise type QBs had to learn and develop into great NFL QBs such as T Brady, T Romo, P Manning, and D Brees. K Moore on the other hand is now in his fifth year in the NFL, has some starting experience, has improved each year in the NFL, has worked with S Linehan for two plus years, has S Linehan's confidence and knows the Dallas offense/playbook well. K Moore's stats in 2015 weren't very good but he only played ten and one half quarters with limited first team reps. The best data point about K Moore's 2015 performance is what S Linehan has said who is an expert on evaluating QBs. He thought K Moore played fairly well and did some really good things such as moving the ball down the field, but made some mistakes. S Linehan also said after the Buffalo game that K Moore followed the game plan to a tee. If you factor in that it was his first time playing against first team defenses, yes he did pretty well overall. He probably did as well as some of those famous QBs I mentioned above in their first few times playing. Also, I watched every game and his physical limitations did not seem to show up much in his play. Also, his deficiencies (i.e. too many interceptions, too few touchdown throws and not as much accuracy as he has had in the past) are areas K Moore has always excelled at, so there is a good chance he will improve/correct these deficiencies. K Moore has done some really good things in his 2013 and 2014 preseason play. In 2013 he got to play for Hill at 2nd team against New England and essentially won the game, had a high QB rating and threw for two touchdowns and no interceptions. In 2014 he played 3rd team QB as Caldwell brought in a veteran, Orlovsky, to be the 2nd team QB. At 3rd team he had a 108 QB rating, three touchdowns and no interceptions for his preseason games. He way outplayed Orlovsky but did not get any 2nd team reps so there was no way Caldwell could make K Moore the 2nd team QB. Caldwell was impressed and said K Moore is very consistent and plays with confidence and moxie. This set up K Moore to compete with Orlovsky for the 2nd team QB position in 2015. For some reason K Moore did not play that well in the one preseason game he was given a chance at 2nd team and Orlovsky played real well in his two games playing at 2nd team. Detroit only kept two QBs and Dallas picked up K Moore. K Moore was not drafted because of his physical limitations. However, he has already proven he should have been drafted. He may have physical limitations but he was one of the best all time pocket passers in college. He came close to setting several new NCAA records and did in fact set two. The best information I have from his college performance is that his college coach, Peterson, who is not known to be outspoken, said and I quote " K Moore is the best pocket passer I have ever seen". The real question for K Moore is his pocket passing skills so outstanding that he can overcome or compensate for his physical limitations to play in the NFL? I am more confident now than at any time in his NFL career that he probably can.

  • Sean Martin

    Sell me this pen…

Dallas Cowboys

Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

Brian Martin



Have the Dallas Cowboys Overcome Their 2nd-Round Curse?

You may not be aware or maybe you've simply forgotten, but the Dallas Cowboys have struggled drafting players in the 2nd-round who can come in and contribute. Typically players drafted this highly are not only immediate contributors as a rookie, but are cornerstone players for years to come. That hasn't been the case for the Cowboys.

I don't know where you stand, but I was beginning to think the Dallas Cowboys were cursed with their 2nd-round draft picks. I know this was an area where they would gamble on players for some reason or another, but unfortunately it never really paid off. Hopefully, things are changing for the better.

Let's take a look back at past drafts to see what I'm talking about.

Past 2nd-Round Draft Picks Dating Back to 2006:

2018 Connor Williams
2017 Chidobe Awuzie
2016 Jaylon Smith
2015 Randy Gregory
2014 DeMarcus Lawrence
2013 Gavin Escobar
2012 (no selection) used to trade for Morris Claiborne
2011 Bruce Carter
2010 Sean Lee
2009 (no selection) traded out of 2nd-round
2008 Martellus Bennett
2007 (no selection) used to trade back into 1st for Anthony Spencer
2006 Anthony Fasano

You may be wondering why I decided to start all the way back in 2006. Well, I believe that's when the 2nd-round draft picks curse started for the Dallas Cowboys.

Anthony Fasano ended up having a solid career in the NFL, but he never lived up to his draft status as a former 2nd-round draft pick. The same can be said for Martellus Bennett, Gavin Escobar, and Bruce Carter. Shed a tear for them if you want, but I'd put them in the "bust" category.

Sean Lee

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

The sad truth is, Sean Lee is the only 2nd-round draft pick on this list to ever see a second contract with the Dallas Cowboys. Although, I guess you can include DeMarcus Lawrence since he will be playing under the franchise tag in 2018. But, that's still not a very good hit percentage in the 2nd-round for more than a decade. Luckily, it looks as if things are changing.

DeMarcus Lawrence might end up being another "hit" for the Cowboys. It may have taken him four years to reach his potential, but there's no denying how dominant he was last season. If he can maintain that dominance this season, he could be looking at a big payday from the Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys took a risk on the next two players they drafted after D-Law. They knew Randy Gregory had his off the field issues, but were willing to take a chance on his talent in the 2nd-round. That has yet to pay off, but Gregory has a chance to rebound now that it looks as if he has his life back in order.

Jaylon Smith

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

The Cowboys took another risk in the following draft when they drafted Jaylon Smith. No one knew if he would ever be able to play again after the devastating knee injury he sustained in his final collegiate game, but it's looking as if he could make a full recovery and return to his pre-injury form. Year 3 will be big for him, but he could end up being an absolute steal.

Fortunately, the Cowboys 2017 and 2018 2nd-round draft picks (Chidobe Awuzie and Connor Williams) look to be cornerstone players for years to come. That's what you're looking for in players drafted this highly.

I say all of this because it's really looking like the Dallas Cowboys have finally broken their 2nd-round curse. Maybe it's a change in draft philosophy or maybe it's because Will McClay's voice carries more weight in the draft room, but it's definitely good news for the future of the franchise. Hopefully it continues.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys 2nd-round curse has ended?

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NFL Draft

Cowboys Draft Class: How Many Will Be Starters In 2018?

Kevin Brady



2018 NFL Combine: 3 LBs Who Impressed
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have been showered with praise by most national NFL media outlets for their 2018 NFL Draft class. graded the Cowboys as having the 2nd best class in the league, and most other analysts have agreed that the team had a strong showing.

But now, of course, it's time to see what these new players will actually do on the field. Some are hoping the team found 3-5 new starters for the 2018 roster, but history would suggest that is pretty rare.

Dallas' 2016 draft class has been lauded as one of the best in the last decade, especially considering they look to have found their franchise quarterback in round four. That strong class only features four full-time starters heading into 2018, but we have to wonder if that's the outlier and not the norm.

Still, as we look back and examine this 2018 draft class it really appears they have found three day one starters in the first three rounds.

First round pick Leighton Vander Esch is expected to be the starting MIKE linebacker this season, with former second round selection Jaylon Smith moving to SAM. Vander Esch wasn't my favorite option at 19, but he is certainly starter-worthy in this Cowboys LB corps.

On day two the Cowboys added OL Connor Williams and WR Michael Gallup, two of my personal favorite picks of their entire class. Williams should be the starting LG week 1 of the season, and Michael Gallup may overtake Allen Hurns as the most productive WR on the roster by year's end.

Cowboys Land Small School WR In Latest PFF Mock Draft

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 1: DUPLICATE***Colorado State Rams wide receiver Michael Gallup (4) picks up a few yards after catch as Colorado Buffaloes defensive back Isaiah Oliver (26) comes in for the tackle during the first quarter on September 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado at Sports Authority Field. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post)

What about the rest of the class?

Dorance Armstrong will probably have too much competition to start at defensive end this season, but he should be an interesting rotational pass rusher. TE Dalton Schultz has the chance to surprise some people, but overtaking Geoff Swaim as the "starter" would be unexpected.

After that, the player with the best chance to make the team and contribute early on might be Boise State WR Cedrick Wilson. Wilson was a late day-two, early day-three pick to me so snagging him in the sixth round should provide incredible value to this roster. That wide out room is getting very crowded, though, so Wilson has his work cut out for him heading into camp.

How many of the Cowboys' 2018 draft picks will be starters in 2018? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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NFL Draft

Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?

Mauricio Rodriguez



Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?

One of the many winners of the 2018 NFL Draft were, without a doubt, the Dallas Cowboys. Not only did they addressed some of the team's most pressing needs, but they managed to draft very talented, capable players beyond the first round.

Cowboys Nation had to feel better about the rookie class the front office walked away with, specially after the second day of the Draft. Just like last year, they managed to find steals in the second and third rounds. In 2017, they did so with Cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. Now, they stayed put at their original picks and walked away with OL Connor Williams and WR Michael Gallup.

But first things first. In the eyes of many, Leighton Vander Esch wasn't worth the 19th overall pick. While I do agree that Vander Esch was a questionable selection, the Cowboys fixed arguably their most concerning position of all. As much as it pains to admit it, Sean Lee has yet to play an entire NFL season and Jaylon Smith was pretty much the only other capable starter on the roster.

Cowboys en Español: Dallas Selecciona a Vander Esch, ¿Quién Sigue?

Although Vander Esch needs to develop a ton before reaching his full potential. he's a week 1 starter and an early contributor for this defense. Whether it felt like a "reach" or not, the Cowboys took a starter in the Boise State linebacker.

Later, the Cowboys managed to add an arguably first-round talent with pick #50 to plug-and-play along the offensive line. Texas OL Connor Williams was also seen as a tackle prospect, but he'll likely start at guard for Dallas as a rookie.

Since Ron Leary left for Denver, the left guard spot hasn't been as stable. Jonathan Cooper did a decent job filling that spot, but with Williams taking his place, the Cowboys dominance in the trenches will finally return. Playing next to All-Pros Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, Connor Williams might become the best rookie in this class for the Cowboys.

One can't simply say the team found a "replacement" for Dez Bryant since he's a special player and with a very specific skill set, but Michael Gallup from Colorado State has the potential to become the team's WR1 pretty soon.

In the team's effort to build a Dak-friendly offense, Gallup is a crafty and smooth route-runner who has what it takes to play in any spot of the offense. His skill-set will allow him to play anywhere on the field and become Dak's favorite target in a year in which Jason Witten and Dez Bryant will no longer be lining up on his squad.

Taken in the first three rounds, Vander Esch, Williams and Gallup will be unquestionable starters. The question, however, is who else could become a starter for the Cowboys? Who could line up and start in week 1?

Dallas Cowboys Add Depth on Day 3, Building Future with Young Starters 1

Even though it definitely isn't as certain as the other three rookies, I'm betting on Dalton Schultz to be a more important starter than we imagine. Listen, maybe it's not an ideal scenario to have the TE from Stanford start in week 1, but it could be necessary.

The Rico Gathers Adventure might just be over before it starts and Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin may not be anything special. In college, Schultz was pretty good at run blocking. In the Cowboys' offense, led by one of the best running backs in the league, Ezekiel Elliott, Schultz may be able to find success earlier than expected.

Besides, he has what it takes to catch passes in the NFL and although he certainly won't be the flashiest, he could be enough to give Dak Prescott a reliable tight end.

Dalton Schultz could be the surprise of this Draft for Dallas. He'll probably become a starter at some point in the season and for a fourth-round pick, that's a very good thing to say.

For a front office that's constantly bashed by Cowboys Nation, their job at this year's NFL Draft was a pretty good one. Now it's just a matter of time to find out which picks were as good as we originally thought.

Tell me what you think about "Did the Dallas Cowboys Find 4 Starters in the 2018 NFL Draft?" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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