2012 NFL Draft: Should Dallas Cowboys Draft a Quarterback?

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIApril 2, 2012

BOISE, ID - DECEMBER 03: Kellen Moore #11 of the Boise State Broncos calls a play against the New Mexico Lobos at Bronco Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

Jerry Jones made a quick move in free agency to ensure depth at quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.

Before anyone else had a chance to make a move on Kyle Orton, Jones slapped the Cowboys star on him. Still, as some may wonder what the future may hold for Tony Romo, Cowboys fans may wonder if their team may still draft a quarterback.


Major Needs Come Before Quarterback

Before mentioning any names of quarterbacks the Cowboys would realistically look to draft, fans should be aware that the Cowboys have at least a few other needs to fill in the early rounds.

Even though they signed two guards in March, the Cowboys still need to add a solid interior offensive lineman, preferably in the first two rounds.

Second, drafting another cornerback is a must in the early rounds. Even after signing Brandon Carr, the Cowboys need to draft a cornerback who can start. Mike Jenkins might be able to start, but if 2011 is any indicator, injuries could hold him back.

Third, Jones needs to look for a pass-rusher to complement DeMarcus Ware. Hopefully, he didn't think retaining Anthony Spencer was the solution. Spencer had six sacks last season, and hasn't shown himself to be a potential 10-sacks-per-year guy in the last two years.

Also, the Cowboys could use another safety. Starting Gerald Sensenbaugh and Brodney Pool might work, but the liability that they'll get blown up is too great. The Cowboys could get a starting quality guy like Harrison Smith or Duke Ihenacho in the middle rounds.

Thus, Jones shouldn't be thinking about a quarterback in at least the first four rounds. That includes the compensatory pick after the fourth round. Jones has at least four positions of need, and he may want to take two players at least one of those positions.


When Would the Cowboys Draft a Quarterback This Year?

If the Cowboys are to draft a signal-caller, Jones shouldn't start looking until the sixth round. Again, too many other needs must be addressed.

Anyway, Jones can still find a nice quarterback in the sixth or seventh round if he wants one.

Possibilities in those rounds include Chandler Harnish, Kellen Moore and Case Keenum. Moore and Keenum were both fantastic college players. Keenum blew up the Division I-A record books, setting records for passing yards, touchdowns and other categories.

Moore figured highly on quarterback leaderboards. He threw for more than 3,500 yards and 35 touchdowns in the last three years at Boise State. He won 50 games, which is hard to top, and showed an ability to win big games.

Moore and Keenum are similar prospects. Both are extremely accurate, but have poor arm strength. Moore is also kind of short at 6'0".

Harnish is a nice prospect coming out of Northern Illinois. He's a great athlete who can run with the ball. He possesses great mechanics. His short-to-mid-range accuracy is good, but his deep-ball accuracy isn't great.


Conclusion: Cowboys Would be Better Off Waiting Until Another Draft on a QB

Jones has his plate full in this draft. He has many positions to fill, and would probably like to add a pass catcher. Quarterback simply isn't a high priority now that the Cowboys have Orton.

Perhaps next year they could sign a quarterback. Romo will be 33 and may have started to decline by then. That may give Jones an inclination to draft a quarterback.

Every draft brings good quarterback prospects. Jones doesn't have to jump for one this year. He could make a better pick in a year or two.