To make or break the 2015 NFL Draft, for the Dallas Cowboys, it’s all about the quarterback. Sounds pretty crazy right? That’s because it is.
Cowboys signal caller, Tony Romo, is coming off the best season of his career, even though he’s more than half way to collecting social security. At the ripe age of 34, Romo was an MVP candidate in 2014, setting career highs in completion percentage, touchdown percentage, quarterback rating, QBR, and game winning drives.
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This really has nothing to do with Romo. Yes, the Cowboys may try to find a groom-able arm to replace Romo in four to five years, but they aren’t desperate to find a new face of their franchise.
More than anything, the ‘Boys are counting on the quarterbacks, specifically the “second tier” guys, to find a trade partner. Would Dallas find a serviceable player picking 27th overall? Sure. However, the Cowboys will likely have a second round grade on anyone they’ll see that late in the draft, especially in a year that’s considered far more deep than top-heavy.
Who are the men who may tempt a quarterback needy team to trade up? Not Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota– those two will be long gone by 27. The men that may net the Cowboys a trade partner are Bryce Petty from Baylor and Brett Hundley from UCLA.
The Cowboys recently made the trip to kick the tires on Petty during his pro day. Dallas’ QB coach, Wade Wilson, was in attendance to witness Petty make nearly 80 throws, all from under center. Nick Eatman from Dallascowboys.com noted that Petty’s footwork was impressive and that he made accurate throws that rarely hit the ground?
Are the Cowboys actually interested in Petty? I doubt it. The Cowboys are thinking Super Bowl in 2015 and a first to second round project quarterback is no use to the cause. Could the Cowboys be trying to drum up interest in Petty to court a trade partner? I wouldn’t doubt it.
Are the Cowboys taking a flyer on Hundley in the same way? CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler lists the ‘Boys as one of three teams who may be interested in the first round. Hundley was touted as a first rounder last year, but after he failed to progress in 2014, I don’t buy the Cowboys being interested.
Would the doubts behind these quarterbacks scare everyone off? Absolutely not. In a pass-happy league and with the sheer lack of quality quarterbacks league wide, nearly half of the league could use a quarterback upgrade, and are willing to make a risky decision to find their man (see Johnny Manziel and Tim Tebow).
Potential trade partners will likely have to pick in the early second round. Right now, keep your eyes on the Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, and Washington. Who could all package an early second and third rounder to move up in the late first to nab Petty or Hundley.
Don’t put it past the Cowboys to move up, trading with a team looking to trade back into a position that their more comfortable drafting a second tier arm. Look for the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, and Kansas City Chiefs as potential suitors. Unfortunately for the ‘Boys, it would take their first, second, and maybe a fourth to move up into the late teens/early twenties.
The Cowboys have plenty of needs, especially for a potential Super Bowl contender. Dallas will look to address their concerns at cornerback, defensive line, running back, safety, linebacker. However, in football, it’s always about the quarterback, folks– even when you have no use for one.