Below, our first installment of a Cowboys state-of-the-roster address by each position of need over the next few weeks.
Will the Cowboys take a quarterback with the fourth overall pick? Better yet, are any quarterbacks in this draft class worthy of the fourth overall pick when it’s most likely serving as a primary backup for a few years? Is Dallas in “win now” mode? If so, why weren’t they bigger players in free agency at this position? At the moment, left handed quarterback Kellen Moore is Romo’s backup for the 2016 season, which is exactly what offensive coordinator Scott Linehan prefers.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones believes there will be other options: “You hope to get a young guy to get in the system somewhere. It doesn’t have to be in the first (round). It could be the second or the third. But if we don’t, then there are other ways to acquire quarterbacks.” Other ways, meaning, you don’t necessarily have to find a quarterback in the draft or the first few weeks of free agency. The roster will constantly be churned, such as the acquisitions of Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore last season. It's been speculated the Cowboys could even use restricted free agent Ron Leary for a backup quarterback, if needed.
You have Dallas' research into this draft. Click here for everything Cowboys-Draft-related from Lynch and Wentz and Goff to "Zak and Hack.'' You also have a positive announcement from Romo himself regarding his post-collarbone-surgery readiness for end-of-May OTAs. ...
It’s all a gamble. Although Moore doesn’t pass the eye test for an NFL quarterback, he does possess above-average smarts, to where the game is never too big for him. The former Boise State standout could be a viable backup for a rare game or two, but Linehan seems to be the only believer in “Moore” of that. What if Romo happens to get injured in Week One and is out for the remainder of the season? It’s a quarterback league, and the Cowboys need one, preferably with experience, who can comfortably step in to fill that void immediately.
Does drafting a mid-round “project” quarterback seem like a wasted pick? There’s the small chance you can get lucky and find a diamond amidst all the rubble, but history suggests not holding your breath. The last quarterback drafted by the Cowboys was Stephen McGee in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. McGee played in three games with the Cowboys before being waived on September 1, 2012. More than half of the active starting quarterbacks in the NFL were drafted in the first round with intentions of being the future of the franchise.
Brett Kollman of Battle Red Blog, has an interesting take on the Cowboys receiving the best of both worlds:
“Wentz is not one of the 10 best players in this class, but he does fill a massive future need for this Cowboys roster. I realize that Dallas is in "win now" mode, but the only reason why they couldn't "win now" last season was because they did not have a backup quarterback that could man the fort while Romo was hurt.
I think Wentz is at least talented enough to give Dallas some immediate wins in an emergency situation, but if he is allowed to develop on the bench for a couple of years, he really could do some special things for this franchise. If I am the Cowboys GM, I am confident in my ability to still get some key pieces in the next few rounds to get us over the hump while my fourth overall pick is used for making sure that we can keep getting over that hump for the next 15 years.”
Wentz? Lynch? Goff? These are questions. Romo? He remains a fine answer at the top of the depth chart now. So much so that in 2017, the Cowboys likely won’t be in this prime of a position to snag a future franchise quarterback. It’s clearly a position that needs to be addressed; it’s just a matter of when.