Chum.You probably first heard the word "chum" in the movie "Jaws." "Chum" is the chopped-up slop of bloody fish guts that is of little value but for one thing: dump it into ocean water and you'll distract that nasty man-eating shark into a frenzy.
A long time ago, I labeled NFL teams' information leaks as "chum." The info is largely without value except to create a frenzy that hides the fisherman's true intentions from the media and from other teams.So it is once again this year from the NFL Combine, as three of the Dallas Cowboys' leading voices are doing their best Brody, Quinn and Hooper imitations in dumping figurative buckets of chum into the football consciousness as it regards Dallas' QB draft intentions.
I've written that Dallas needs to face the likely realities of "Romo's Final 25 Games," and that the horizon is within sight now, and that if Garrett and Will McClay determine together that Jared Goff, Carson Wentz or Paxton Lynch qualify as an eventual "franchise QB" (especially if they can simultaneously serve as a bus driver while in Romo's shadow), the Cowboys simply must find a way to grab him. "The Romo Era" of two more years (or whatever) is important; but so is the Post-Romo Era of 12 years after he leaves.To attempt to clarify all of this ... or, really, to take the first stab at unclarifying it ... came COO Stephen Jones, who spoke at the Combine and left the distinct impression that it is getting to be time to find the air to Tony Romo long – again, especially if that guy is a "franchise QB."
Said Stephen: "If you have the opportunity in this league, in our situation, to get a potential franchise quarterback, then you have to make the investment. you have to have the patience.”That's no promise about what Dallas does with the No. 4 overall pick. But it darn sure sounds like a hint. And note a key phrase: "In our situation." And what is Dallas' situation? They have 1) a competitive roster (that I'd bet wins the NFC East in 2016) and 2) they have an aging-but-All-Pro QB and 3) they have the rare good fortune of being able to combine the first two things with owning the No. 4 pick in the draft.That's the "situation." And it's a rare one.So Stephen made it pretty clear. Right?
As the week in Indy progressed, coach Jason Garrett grabbed a bucket full of "Romo's successor" talk."Certainly we want to have a young quarterback in our program who we're developing to be a guy who replaces Tony Romo at some point," RedBall said. "Does that mean we take him in the first round, the second round or the third round? I don't know that."Wait a minute. Stephen just told us to look for a "franchise QB" but Jason just told us to be open to the idea of a quarterback in the third round, where you almost assuredly are not going to find an on-paper "franchise QB" on paper.
What is going on here aboard the good ship Orca? Hey, Jerry, you're the owner. Clea this up, please.
"The one unequivocable fact you can count on in this draft is I'm planning on Romo being the QB for the next 4-5 years.' Jerry said while holding court on the party ... er, "luxury" bus. "That's a fact. You won't see a decision on draft day that will fly in the face of (that.)"
So let's get the rudder straight on this damn boat. Steven says we have an eye open for a franchise QB, Garrett says maybe we'll just take a guy in the third round, and Jerry says that we don't have any issues a quarterback because Tony Romo's gonna play as long as the studios kept making crappy "Jaws" sequels.
So what is the truth? What are the intentions? What is the Romo succession plan?
"There’s no one breathing that has any idea what we’re gonna go with that first pick," Jerry said, "because I don’t."