You will be hard pressed to find a bigger continuing fan of Quincy Carter than myself. When Carter was cut, it was tantamount to a “You remember where you were when it happened” moment for me. According to Jerry Jones:
The other thing I wanted to mention is the quarterback position. To put it in golf terms, I try to hit across the water; that’s my style, rather than laying up and going to the green to get us a quarterback after Aikman retired. And we ultimately just didn’t get it done. [Quincy] Carter was [Tony] Romo. Carter could move around, he moved around to throw but he didn’t have it in his mind. He didn’t have it and we couldn’t ever have dreamed the drug thing would be what it would be with him. So the bottom line is I’m covering a lot of ground fast. I could give you all the excuses in the world. It’s good to have this quarterback and good to have this team like we got it today. We got a shot.
I honestly don’t know who that is more offensive to. Certainly Carter did not reach his full potential as the Cowboys QB. Romo has put in countless hours honing his craft to become the QB he is today. Throwing accurately with touch and timing isn’t something that every person has the ability to develop. Carter threw a nice deep ball, but every other pass for three years was a hold your breath moment. There are some similarities as Jones cited, but Carter did not have the innate “escapability” in the pocket that Romo has. Nor was Quincy a poor man’s Michael Vick or Donovan McNabb. Carter simply wasn’t that quick or powerful as a runner. Does anyone recall the Cowboys offense running the option? What were they thinking? Can you imagine Romo running down the line and deciding whether to keep or toss the ball?
According to most reports at the time of the 2001 NFL Draft, Carter was a 6th round talent that was taken in the 2nd round. There were rumors that the Oakland Raiders were considering drafting Carter at 59 overall if the Cowboys did not take him first (at 53 overall). Carter had an inconsistent college career and while he did have raw talents, it was Jones who elected to draft Carter too high. Originally the Cowboys were positioned at the 37th overall position (six spots after Drew Brees was taken). While Brees had a rocky beginning to his NFL career, certainly hindsight will tell us that trading the 2nd and 4th round picks to move up and draft Brees would have been a better value than Carter and Marcus Steele.
Jones has made a variety of poor decisions during his post Jimmy Johnson career. Fortunately for Cowboys fans and the Cowboys organization, the drafts he oversaw recently have been vastly improved. It simply doesn’t make sense why Jones is digging up this bone only to further disparage Carter.
What’s most frustrating is that Jones seemingly has difficulty distinguishing the key differences between Romo and Carter. Quick release, escapability in the pocket, quick decision making, looking down field while on the run, and simply playing with confidence. Again, I truly appreciated what Carter was able to do as the Cowboys QB, but his overall career has been less than impressive.
Carter may be one of Jones’s biggest blunders, but to assert that Carter could have played at the level of Romo is just a sign that Jones should be checked out for a transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke).