What Quarterbacks Might The Dallas Cowboys Draft?

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Nov 9, 2013; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger (8) throws the ball as he is pressured by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan (8) in the second quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

NFL teams are often made or broken at the quarterback position. An elite quarterback can make a below-average team competitive while a dud under center can derail the championship hopes of an otherwise talented team. Currently, the Dallas Cowboys have one of the better quarterbacks in the game in Tony Romo, and are hoping that he won’t need to be replaced anytime soon. Still, Romo turns 34 in a few weeks, and is coming off of multiple back surgeries. With no heir apparent on the current roster, it would probably be in the best interest of the Cowboys to look for a successor sooner rather than later.

There seems to be a prevailing thought that the Cowboys might try and find that guy in this year’s Draft. Since quarterback isn’t a pressing need, and other positions need to be addressed first, it would be a shock if Dallas took a signal-caller with its first pick, but it isn’t unreasonable to think that they might start looking around on Day 2 or Day 3, especially if they trade back in Round 1 (a possibility) and acquire more picks in some of the earlier rounds.

The big names in this year’s quarterback crop are Johnny Mainzel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles. All three are expected to be long gone by the time the Cowboys are on the clock in the first round, let alone at a point when they might be looking for a quarterback. A newcomer to the party is Fresno State’s Derek Carr, who is looking more and more like he will sneak into the first round. None of those guys will be playing with a star on his helmet next season.

So what quarterbacks COULD be backing up Tony Romo in 2014? There are several intriguing prospects in this year’s class, who are projected to be taken between the second and fourth rounds: Zach Mettenberger (LSU), AJ McCarron (Alabama), Aaron Murray (Georgia) and Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois). Additionally, two guys that I seem to like more than most are Tom Savage from Pittsburgh and South Carolina’s Connor Shaw.

At 6’5, 230 lbs, Mettenberger certainly LOOKS the part, and might have the most upside of all the mid-round prospects. He absolutely has the arm and overall talent to succeed at the NFL level, but with all of that talent comes a lot of question marks. Mettenberger had a rocky career, which began at Georgia, and included multiple run-ins with the law, a dismissal from Georgia and a stop at community college. He took over as the starter at LSU in 2012, and was underwhelming and generally considered a disappointment.

Then, under new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, Mettenberger turned in a terrific senior season in 2013 and looked like a possible first-round draft pick. Unfortunately, a torn ACL ended his season early, also causing him to miss the Senior Bowl and Combine. He already struggled when forced to move outside of the pocket, so his injury is concerning, but these days we see players come back from ACLs all of the time with little to no discernible difference. The rise in play between his junior and senior seasons shows that he seems to respond well to coaching, and is an encouraging sign about his potential to progress as an NFL passer. If he drops low enough, and Dallas can grab him at a reasonable spot, he could be a terrific pick. Dallas can afford to let him recover at his own pace, and he won’t be forced into action anytime soon.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft Quarterbacks

  • Will Martin

    What about David Fales? He looks the part and could be (or at the very least should be ) a day 2 or 3 option.

    • Krupinsky

      Fales is a good guy, too, although I think he’ll go a little later, and for me, he seems like a guy who is more destined to be a backup than a potential starter. I should’ve explained this a little more, but this wasn’t meant to be a completely exhaustive list. I mainly also wanted to stick with guys that I saw play a lot. I added Garoppolo (who I never saw take one snap), simply because I’ve seen him linked to Dallas a lot, given his Eastern Illinois ties.

  • Ed

    We have 3 QBs on staff already. I can’t see a 4th one conning on staff. Orton will have to retire first but even still, I don’t see it happening this year.

    • Krupinsky

      If they do draft a QB, I don’t think they’ll keep Weeden. I think he was signed as a guy to be an extra camp arm. He’s very expendable. But I agree, they won’t go into the season with 4 QBs.

      • Ed

        You don’t hire someone just to fire them later. If anyone goes, it will be Orton because of the added cap space.

  • trinity

    I am definitely not a Dallas fan, but it’ll be pretty exciting when a new guy takes the helm. The league has seen all they need to see of Tony Romo. Maybe the cowboys can be successful with the next guy.

    • David

      Yeah he is only one the highest ratet passers of all time. It will be good to see him go..Maybe the next qb can play defense too.

      • trinity

        Blah blah. Everyone knows the story by now. It’s an old one. Nobody can deny Tony’s amazing physical talent, just like nobody can deny his epic failures. As I said, I would like to see if a new guy can shake things up, and actually win. And I agree, the defense is horrible as well.

        • David

          Wow you agree the defense is horrible? Thats some great football knowledge you have.

          • trinity

            Thank you ever so much Davey.

    • Scott.

      What a moron… To be nice..

      • trinity

        …Meaning?

  • PaulTX

    I like getting Casey Pachall as a 7th rounder or undrafted free agent. He has a powerful arm and quick release as well as the right frame. He has some character issues to iron out, but we can take him for a test drive fairly cheap.

  • David

    I wouldnt forget about David Fales from San Jose State..

    • Krupinsky

      Yeah, someone else brought him up too. Fales isn’t bad, although I think he’ll go a little later, and
      for me, he seems like a guy who is more destined to be a backup than a
      potential starter. I should’ve explained this a little more, but this
      wasn’t meant to be a completely exhaustive list. I mainly also wanted to
      stick with guys that I saw play a lot. I added Garoppolo (who I never
      saw take one snap), simply because I’ve seen him linked to Dallas a lot,
      given his Eastern Illinois ties.

      • David

        Well I live in San Jose and have seen him play quite a bit. He can play and played against some pretty good competiton with not very much firepower to help him. He will go in the 5th or 6th round.

  • brian basile

    Brad Smith Wyoming…dude is a gamer…

  • Guy Smith

    McCarron is a winner, that’s why Dallas won’t draft him//Get an extra second/third rounder, go DT, DE, Safety and OLine