Draft Day Target: QB Chris Simms

Former Longhorns' quarterback Chris Simms has had problems "living up the the hype" throughout his college career, but with Bill Parcells coaching his father at the same in the first of Super Bowl wins, the possiblity of having Simms come to Dallas certainly appears intriguing.

The connections between former UT quarterback Chris Simms and the Dallas Cowboys are almost endless.

First, he played his collegiate football at Texas, which automatically makes him familiar to most Cowboys' fans. Second, his father was coached by Bill Parcells, as the two helped lead the Giants to the first World Championship in 1987 when New York toppled the Broncos in Super Bowl XXV.

With all of those established connections, the rumors have been rampant around Valley Ranch. Simms himself even ignited the story by discussing his love for America's Team before his last collegiate game in the Cotton Bowl.

"Everybody knows I grew up a big Troy Aikman fan and Coach Parcells was a family friend," Simms said. "It would be neat to play for him because he's a businessman and there's no BS with Coach Parcells."

While the reviews about Simms overall performance during his career at UT has been mixed, there's little doubting his NFL-caliber talent.

Simms completed 235-of-396 passes for 3207 yards, 26 TDs and only 12 INTs last season in helping lead the Longhorns to a 11-2 record.
"Simms' is a fundamentally sound pocket passer that makes most all the throws," notes NFL Draft Expert Tony Pauline. "He displays solid footwork setting up in the pocket, throws with an over the top delivery and possesses a fluid passing motion. He also throws tight spirals and does a fine job leading receivers on slants or crossing patterns."

Simms finished his senior year by completing 235-of-396 passes for 3207 yards, 26 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions in helping lead the Longhorns to a 11-2 record.

The knock on Simms is simple- he never won the big game at Texas. Despite being consistently surrounded with some of the top talent in the country in Austin, he was never able to lead the Longhorns to a Big XII championship.

He also has some drawbacks in his mechanics, which has some teams concerned about drafting him in the first round.

"He can be terribly slow dropping to deliver the ball, and does not sense pressure and fails avoid it. He also doesn't improvise when the play breaks down, and makes questionable choices when pressured and forces the ball into coverage. His deep-ball accuracy is less then adequate for a strong-armed passer," says Tony Pauline.

Whether the Cowboys' organization is admitting it or not, there is significant interest in obtaining the services of Chris Simms.

Parcells likes to surround himself with players that he's familiar with and Simms certainly fits the bill considering he grew up watching his father play for Parcells in New York.

The key here though likely rests with the Cowboys' ultimate draft strategy, because Simms won't be taken anywhere near the top 15 selections in the first round. At best, he's a late first round pick, yet some experts have pegged him going as late as the third round.

His father, Phil Simms could also be a factor here, as he has gone on record several times indicating that it may be best for his son to avoid the potential chaotic environment that could follow him to Dallas.

"I think looking at that scenario, I wouldn't really wish that on anyone," Phil Simms said in a recent interview. "Playing for my former coach in the same state where he played in college, and that's really only the tip of the iceberg."

With most of the big name quarterbacks available this offseason are already heading to other teams, the Cowboys will be forced to either make a trade for Vinny Testaverde, draft a quarterback at the #5 selection- most likely Byron Leftwich, or take a chance on a guy like Chris Simms in the 2nd round.

The bottom line on Chris Simms is that his upside is tremendous, but he would undoubtedly be faced with the exact same pressure that helped trigger some of his weaker performances playing at UT.

CowboysHQ Top Stories