Will QB Dustin Vaughan Eventually Start for the Dallas Cowboys?

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Dec 22, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) watches from the bench against the Washington Redskins in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Cowboys won 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Vaughan joins a roster that includes a franchise quarterback who’s several years older now and has had two back operations in a little over a year. Both procedures came within a matter of months from each other.

How certain are the Cowboys that Romo makes it through the season? Are they sure he’s still playing in two or three seasons?

After Romo there’s only Weeden, a 30-year old veteran of two seasons that’s looking for greener pastures following a rough stint in Cleveland. If Weeden became the starter, Vaughan could conceivably become the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart in the not-so-distant future.

Of course the Orton situation could have a huge impact on how things end up looking on the Dallas offensive depth chart. It seems like the Cowboys need to be thinking long-term and of the possibility of cheating time a little bit during Romo’s twilight years. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones does not want to get caught unprepared should Romo’s career not go as long as expected. In other words, Jones doesn’t want a repeat of the desperate search for a signal-caller like the one he engaged in following the unexpected end of the Troy Aikman era. This should be a lot easier without trading first-round draft picks for wide receivers, but still.

It makes sense to give as much work to Vaughan as possible during training camp.

If you’ve never seen Vaughan’s highlights, their worth taking a look at. It’s obvious that his field of vision is ideal and his arm strength looks well beyond adequate for the next level. Granted, there’s going to be a steep learning curve and much physical adaptation coming for Vaughan, but there should be time for those things to transpire.

You just never know when tomorrow is going to come in the NFL.

Did you really expect former Cowboys starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe to lose the starting job to Romo midway through 2006, the final season for then-head coach Bill Parcells? Bledsoe had been to a Super Bowl as a starting quarterback and had just been acquired in 2005 to replace Carter, who had been released in 2004—remember that Aikman didn’t play beyond the 2000 regular season.

Yet, all of a sudden, it was “Romo Time”, and the Cowboys were properly demolished by the New York Giants during an ’06 prime time blowout loss that marked the first significant playing time for the former quarterback from Eastern Illinois.

It’s worth remembering, however, that Romo would win his first start the following week against the Carolina Panthers, on the road mind you, and he’s been under center ever since.

But did anybody really see Romo coming?

Not many, and the Cowboys have a franchise quarterback because of their patience. Jones should feel compelled at this point to have his eyes peeled on as many as a few candidates that might make sense to audition at some point during the summer.

In the short term, guys like Vaughan are the ones that make the second half of preseason games worth watching. He’s the kind of player that could blossom if given the time, because the physical tools are there.

Fortunately, Romo probably won’t see much action during the preseason. Vaughan should get plenty of reps under the lights to show the Cowboys and the NFL exactly where he’s at.