Dallas Cowboys Reaching For Tony Romo’s Replacement In Draft Defies Logic
By David Vaught
It’s as sure as the draft itself. The annual cry for the Dallas Cowboys to use a high value draft pick on a quarterback is back again, right on schedule. As in years past, it shouldn’t and won’t happen.
Although not likely, it would have been more plausible before last week’s restructure of quarterback Tony Romo’s contract. With the restructure the Cowboys essentially married themselves to Romo with no divorce possible for three years.
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Barring an unforeseen career ending injury, there is no way that Romo is not the Cowboys signal caller through at least through the 2017 season without the team committing salary cap suicide.
Matter of fact, if Romo is protected by a certain current Minnesota Vikings running back or by a high achieving rookie running back, don’t be surprised if Romo restructures his contract one more time, this time next year. Pushing him into 2018 for sure.
The draft a quarterback chirpers should give it up. A high value pick, the top 175 players, are too critical to the Cowboys at this point.
Rookie contracts are now a standard four years. Teams that are forced to make a decision on a second quarterback contract without enough playing time to be fully assess that quarterback’s ability to carry a franchise typically make big mistakes.
If a highly regarded quarterback is drafted the Cowboys, what does he do for you?
What about a midseason Romo injury? Let me ask this question. Would you rather have an under the center quarterback well versed in the system or a college spread offense rookie quarterback starting a critical regular season game?
The offensive line is the teams strongest asset, but not having enough depth could come back to haunt the Cowboys in 2015.
As for receivers, Devon Street did not infuse confidence with his play last year, so what if one of the Cowboys starting receivers go down with a lengthy injury? Here comes the nine man fronts from opposing defenses.
The question then becomes why in the name of Drew Henson would you waste a pick on a quarterback that sits for at least three seasons?
This is not 1976 and the Cowboys will not draft Danny White. Cowboys Punter Chris Jones can relax.
The days of drafting a quarterback and having him sit for several years and then start for the same team are over. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the rare exception and possibly the last quarterback to follow this path.
You won’t find a Cowboys fan that doesn’t agree with the fact that Rookie Linebacker Anthony Hitchens was a valuable piece of the defense in 2014. Hitchens was a fourth round pick. It is not unusual for a smart drafting team to hit on a contributor in the third or fourth round, especially on defense
The Cowboys need to hit on value picks in the mid rounds to further elevate the talent and depth of the defense. Anyone remember the Cowboys signing players off the couch during the second half of the 2012 and 2013 seasons to play defense?
A strong argument could be made that a lack of depth on defense cost the Cowboys two division titles.
The most important point is this. The Cowboys need depth and cannot afford another season of smoke and mirrors defense if they expect to be playing for the conference championship in 2015. This is a critically important draft for the defense.
What about Cowboys owner Jerry Jones comments about drafting a QB? Jerry has made similar statements in years past. While April 1st is recognized as our lying for fun day, that day kicks off the non-official lying month for the NFL.
Whatever you hear between now and the draft from NFL team executives and coaches regarding the draft, ignore it.
Didn’t Wade Wilson make an appearance at former local Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty’s pro day? It is not uncommon for teams to show up for quarterback pro days, especially when they are close to home. The main reason is that they want a close up look at a quarterback that may be available for a trade or a free agent signing down the road.
There are many examples of teams acquiring a quarterback in the future that they had a look at before the draft. The Cowboys have one now in backup quarterback Brandon Weeden, the Cowboys having shown up at his Oklahoma State pro day before the 2012 draft. This is essentially a look at a player for the future just in case.
What about the draft yoda known as New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick drafting Ryan Mallett in the third round of the 2011 draft? At the time, the common refrain heard was that Mallet was drafted to sit and then be the heir apparent to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
The Patriots ended up dumping Mallet for a conditional sixth or seventh round round draft pick. A wasted third round pick.
By making a comparable move the Cowboys would apparently be giving up on their current third string quarterback Dustin Vaughan after one year, who by all accounts is highly regarded by the Cowboys coaching staff.
Traditionally the Cowboys have waited at least two seasons before giving up on a developmental quarterback. See former Cowboys quarterback Stephen McGee as an example.
As far as Petty or former Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion or any other quarterback in this draft that has been mentioned a lot on television draft shows, don’t count on it. Desperate teams desperately reach for quarterbacks in the draft.
For space sake here we won’t delve into the very long list, but most fans favorite college quarterback will be long gone before the Cowboys should even think about it.
Love it or hate it, Tony Romo is the Cowboys quarterback of the past, present and the forseeable future. Deal with it, live with it and save your mock draft picks. Hopefully the Cowboys will as well.