Dallas Cowboys: Three Best Replacement Options for Tony Romo in 2013 NFL Draft

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Dallas Cowboys: Three Best Replacement Options for Tony Romo in 2013 NFL Draft
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
USC quarterback Matt Barkley

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo enjoyed one of his best statistical seasons in 2012 despite the fact that his team failed to make the playoffs for the third straight season. It’s true that owner and general manager Jerry Jones may yet extend Romo’s contract for, presumably, another three to four seasons or longer. This all depends on future events coming to Valley Ranch.

Already, we have gone from thinking that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was fired mainly as an example. It might not have even set well with you given Dallas’ cascade of injuries on that side of the ball.

But this uncomfortable offseason that was somewhat mocked by national media less than a month ago has evolved into an offseason of significant change, and this thing is just getting started.

At this point, much of a successful Tampa Bay defensive coaching staff from a decade ago has been brought in to completely rebuild the Dallas defensive scheme. Some of these "old-schoolers” have championship rings on their fingers.

Head coach Jason Garrett, as of now, will no longer call plays as Dallas’ offensive coordinator. Yet another veteran assistant with head coaching experience, Bill Callahan, will add play calling to his job description.

So it isn’t impossible that the Cowboys might actually be thinking about life beyond Romo—and it’s time to do that.

Now, thinking about this doesn’t mean doing anything about it. If healthy, Romo starts for the Cowboys for at least another two seasons, regardless of his contract.

But with a restructured contract, it’s not impossible to think that Jones could shock the football world and actually draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft.

Since the new collective bargaining agreement between owners and players went into effect over a year ago, rookies aren’t nearly as expensive as they once were thanks to the recent rookie salary cap that has saved a lot of headaches for the entire league.

Drafting a passer with their first selection would not be as much about starting a rookie over Romo, but rather having a guy in place to carry the franchise when the time comes.

Rookie contracts aren’t the terror they used to be, costing league owners billions in wasted dollars over the first twenty years of free agency.

This year’s draft doesn’t have an Andrew Luck who’s a clear, consensus first overall selection either. This means there might be an opportunity to grab the future before it actually arrives—not necessarily the wrong way to go.

So if Dallas went the quarterback route, here are the three signal callers that could entice Jones to surprise everybody with a selection at a position that nobody would possibly expect.

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