Cowboys' Lineage ... Who's Next?

Jerry Jones, it's time to continue the current spending spree. The window-shopping item of desire? A first-round potential, collegiately-tested, highly touted and scouted NFL-bound quarterback.

No, a movement is not afoot to oust Drew Bledsoe after two preseason contests, nor is it a proclamation of impending failure. The Blue and Silver Nation hope is completely the opposite, and its felt, in this corner, Bledsoe will enjoy success in Dallas. If the offensive line can keep would-be pass rushers at bay and provide Drew time to throw, he has the supporting cast to achieve success. There's no desire or need to run the starter from town before the ball is even teed up for the 2005 campaign. To do so would be pigskin suicide.

The foundation and thesis of this piece is A.D. After Drew. The personal belief is neither Tony Romo nor Drew Henson will be ordained savior now or ever. The organization, which has been completely spoiled with the likes of LeBaron, Meredith, Staubach, White and Aikman, desperately seeks, and needs, an answer for the next decade plus. If Romo and Henson morphed to resemble the signal callers of yesteryear, wonderful, but absent a transformation of epic proportions, it's not going to happen.

So, what is the game plan for A.D.? Your columnist views Parcells and Bledsoe on the same continuum. It's doubtful either sees the other side of two years. Stranger things have happened, but windows are creeping shut not being thrust open for these two.

Will everyone agree the post-Aikman, stopgap measures have failed? Maybe falling just short of disastrous, yet they are ridden with head scratching. Eight attempts at bargain basement journeymen have either gone down in flames or ended up in rehab. Even the Sunday flea market shopper is looking for the deal or deals. Why take the name brand item when the generic label serves the same purpose, right? However, unlike the prescription drug industry, NFL quarterbacks don't fit the alternative option mode. Top-shelf prices must be shelled out for a franchise organization cornerstone.

Have there been journeymen and caretakers who've guided their clubs to post season success and beyond? Sure, with Trent Dilfer being the poster child of recent memory, but these examples are too few and far between. Free agency is, well, free agency, but you want your franchise quarterback entrenched and established. Annual or bi-annual moving of this particular piece is neither advisable nor appealing. You should be able to rely on your offensive scheme and attack year after year. If there, it makes finding suitable and supporting personnel a much easier proposition. The personnel should mirror the guy barking out the signals.

So, with this as the backdrop, what do the Cowboys do moving forward? Based on last night's performance (preseason game #2) against the Seahawks, the organization can hardly be faulted for their selection of DeMarcus Ware. The Jones family had to be high-fiving and absolutely ecstatic in the Owner's box, but what do Jerry and Jeff Ireland have on the drawing board as it relates to trying to add the most vital piece to any organization in hopes of spoiling the fandom once again?

Parcells knew the defense had to be constructed first, and no one can fault the logic, but you have to wonder if the draft temptation was there to utilize this year's two first-round selections, package and move to the top to pursue Alex Smith. What would have been the organization's position had Matt Leinart declared he was coming out? Would the draft philosophy have changed? Would they have packaged both #11 and #20 to land the Pete Carroll prized pupil? All will remain pure speculation and debate fodder until next year's draft.

And what about next year's draft? Wide receiver has to be on the radar, but as Roy Philpott noted in this very space, the upcoming class/crop nowhere near measures up to this past April's draft talent. It would take an underclassman infusion to raise the bar for 2006. Patrick Crayton allows the Cowboys to move receiver to the later rounds.

Doesn't the 2006 draft focus have to start with, but not necessarily end, with Matt Leinart consideration? Sure, he'll be on their draft board and ranked accordingly, but shouldn't he be more of a target than a ranking? If not, it has to be asked, why? Defensive building blocks and cornerstones appear to be shaping up, and Julius Jones certainly exudes tenure and serviceability. With receiver in the flight pattern, why not turn to the acquisition of thee cornerstone? At any cost? Not necessarily, but the organization has to be a player in the sweepstakes, don't they?

My next research project for this space will highlight the potential of an uncapped year should the Collective Bargaining Agreement not come to fruition. Why? The Cowboys have an Owner who has proven he will spend to both improve and win, and if "uncapped" happens to also apply to the rookie draft salary pool, let the bidding begin. As Paul Tagliabue steps to the podium to begin the bidding, you just know Jerry is crafting quarterback signals from within the crowd of suitors.

What are you willing to do, sacrifice or give up going all the way up to the #1 slot in 2006? How jazzed would you feel if the organization pledged its desire to compete for the services of the #1 collegiate signal caller heading into the 2006 draft? Would the franchise security blanket be hiked up a little further while providing extra, long-term protection?

When it comes to spending, Jerry certainly doesn't have to be coached. It' hopeful the same principles outlined in paragraph one get applied. If you see something you truly need and want, and you're convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, following tons of research, don't you have to take a leap of faith and throw a wallet (or in this case, a Brinks truck) at your prized pursuit? The 2006 annual draft selection process promises to be, at the very least, entertaining.

So, who is going out to grab the Pac-10 schedule to see just when USC tee's it up this year?

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