NFL Draft: Should the Dallas Cowboys Draft a Quarterback?
An interesting question is whether America's Team should begin searching for the franchise's next signal caller—this despite the fact that incumbent starter Tony Romo just signed a huge contract extension less than a month ago. Romo's six-year, $108 million contract clearly indicates that he's going to be the man for several more years to come—and rightly so.
But there are some that believe that Dallas needs to be preparing for the future at quarterback after finishing with a .500 record the past two seasons and failing to reach the playoffs on the final weekend of the season—and rightly so.
Being prepared for the future is a good thing, but so is addressing a present that includes a head coach said to have his job on the line and numerous talented players whose careers are going to start winding down soon. I'm talking about Romo himself, tight end Jason Witten, defensive end DeMarcus Ware and defensive tackle Jay Ratliff.
Further, there's a young corps of players that deserve the opportunity to play on the best team possible. This includes players like wide receiver Dez Bryant, linebackers Sean Lee and Bruce Carter and running back DeMarco Murray.
How would selecting a third quarterback who would never play in a seven-round draft that offers the Cowboys just six selections make the team better?
Let's also realize that the 2013 NFL Draft isn't exactly known for NFL-ready passers in the first place.
Gil LeBreton of StarTelegram.com makes an intelligent argument for Dallas selecting a passer like Florida State's E.J. Manuel should he fall farther than expected. LeBreton also mentions Manuel's speed as an additional reason to go after him.
Manuel's 40-yard dash of 4.65 seconds at the scouting combine in February isn't exactly what I call blinding, but I get the point and I don't completely disagree.
And it's true that the expenditure required for a young, highly-rated passer isn't the financial game of Russian-roulette that it was just a few short years ago.
But the idea in the draft is to become a better football team. Again, a third quarterback who's years away from hitting the field is not the way to go.
If Romo was over 35 years of age and clearly winding down, then I could see Dallas getting serious about the future. Green Bay proved to be razor sharp in drafting starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2005 despite the fact that future Hall of Fame passer Brett Favre was still on the roster and would remain the starter for three seasons into Rodgers' young career.
Well, the Packers have won a Super Bowl with Rodgers, and they seem pretty well positioned for the future with their 29-year-old three-time Pro Bowl selection and Super Bowl MVP.
Perhaps the biggest reason that Dallas should hold off on this idea is the fact that this draft doesn't offer as much at quarterback as recent drafts have. Remember that Rodgers was a first-round selection as opposed to a guy who falls below the second round due to either questionable skills or limited experience.
Manuel or another second-tier passer from this year's draft class might be fine if Dallas had additional selections. It's not like extra quarterbacks on your roster, especially those unknown, can't be flipped for additional benefits down the road. Look at the circus that Matt Flynn of Oakland has created over the span of only a year—he has one big start to his name.
If Dallas selects a quarterback in the 2013 NFL draft, who should it be?
But that idea would work even better if this draft had a little more talent to choose from. Reaching for the future in this class doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The future for a quarterback chosen this year by Dallas could be four or five seasons away.
The Cowboys have six picks, starting at No. 18 in the first round. Undrafted free agents will follow the draft process, as usual, but there's not likely to be a starter there.
Finally, since the drafting of Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman in the spring of 1989, Dallas has chosen exactly two quarterbacks in the draft. Quincy Carter came in 2001 as a major second-round reach under desperation, and Stephen McGee arrived as a fourth-round selection in 2009.
Both are gone and neither was relevant.
Well, Aikman was a pick that any kindergarten student could have probably made as he was that year's version of Andrew Luck a year ago—except with Aikman there was no RGIII to create any division at all.
Carter and McGee show that Dallas isn't too likely to find a diamond in the rough beyond the first round—unless it's an undrafted guy named Romo, who some still want gone for reasons I'll never quite understand.
Dallas can afford to wait until next year for the grooming process to begin.
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