Solving the Quarterback Conundrum for America's Team

By Kevin Goodwin

For 30 teams in the NFL, general managers, owners and coaches are trying to figure out a game plan for next year. What free agents to target. Who to scout at the combine for the draft in April? What needs to be changed in the coaching staff, if any? Everything will be addressed at some point by each team. The beauty of professional sports is that we all – fans included – have a stake in what happens during the offseason. Granted, we as fans, just want our team to perform on the field or court and go after the player or coach we feel will make the biggest impact in the coming season. Former players also chip in their opinion from time-to-time, especially when they are an analyst. Troy Aikman, former quarterback of the Cowboys, told that he feels Dallas should select a quarterback in this April's draft.

Before all you Tony Romo enthusiasts get all upset, Aikman isn't saying the Cowboys should replace Romo with a rookie. Aikman is a supporter of Romo, but feels Dallas should take a page out of Green Bay's playbook when they took Aaron Rodgers in the first round even though they had Brett Favre. Rodgers studied behind Favre for three years before taking over the Packers. He is now one of the best in the business and some might consider him being groomed for the position made him a better quarterback. I know three rookies led their respective teams to the playoffs this year – Russell Wilson in Seattle; Robert Griffin III in Washington; and Andrew Luck in Indianapolis, but that isn't an every year occurrence. Romo, 33, wants to stay with the Cowboys, although it seems they are reluctant to give him a long-term deal. Kyle Orton is another veteran on the roster, but he isn't the answer either. So what is the next step for Dallas?

Dallas Quarterback Tony Romo

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo hasn't gotten the job done when the game is on the line. Is it time to start grooming his successor? Troy Aikman seems to think so.

The Cowboys pick 18th overall in this year's draft and I feel they'll address the defensive line because that is a bigger hole on the roster. In the mocks I've done, I have Dallas selecting defensive tackle John Jenkins out of Georgia. I can't predict exactly who Dallas will take, chances are they go defense. But the one thing that owner Jerry Jones isn't is conventional. He'll select whoever he wants at the time the Cowboys are on the clock. There really isn't any rhyme or reason to Jones, which is why I wouldn't be shocked one bit if he takes a quarterback here or trades deeper into the first round to get a quarterback towards the end of the first round.

I have Geno Smith dropping to the Eagles and the Cardinals and Bills both taking quarterbacks in the top 10. Arizona should select  Mike Glennon and Buffalo Tyler Wilson, which means USC signal caller Matt Barkley would be available for Dallas. This would be a steal for any team as Barkley was once considered a potential No. 1 overall pick in the draft. After the Bills select at No. 8 in April, no other team really has a need to take a quarterback, so Barkley could fall into the second round. If that scenario happens, look for the Chiefs to make a move on him, although I feel new Kansas City coach Andy Reid has his eye on Landry Jones.

Matt Barkley

Could Matt Barkley fall to Dallas in April's draft? It is very possible and I think we could see Barkley with a star on his helmet this fall.

Would Barkley slip all the way to the second round so the Cowboys take him with the 50th overall pick, probably not. Some team would likely take a chance on Barkley before Dallas comes up again in the draft. That's why I can't put it past Jerry Jones to do something drastic and snag Barkley in the first round like Green Bay did with Rodgers. Barkley can sit behind Romo until he's 36, giving Dallas three more years to show he can get over the hump in the postseason. Then he can pass the pigskin to Barkley for the next phase of the Cowboys.

Are there other options in the draft, of course. There is always a player that slips through the cracks and a few years down the road leads his respective team to the playoffs and Super Bowl (Tom Brady). So what players may fit in Dallas? Tyler Bray and Ryan Nassib are both potential second round picks, but I don't think either will be  heading to Dallas. If Jones and the Cowboys don't get a quarterback in the first two rounds they may go the New England route and grab one late on Sunday.

Jordan Rodgers, Aaron's younger brother, would be a low-risk selection. He played his college ball at Vanderbilt in a tough SEC, so he was never headlining football Saturdays. A few years down the road he could be facing his big brother in the NFC Championship game and renew a heated rivalry between Green Bay and Dallas; just imagine all the headlines and hype around that game. Or the Cowboys could nab Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein. Again there isn't any risk by taking Klein in the sixth or seventh round, especially if they groom him for a few years.

So from now until April we will have to keep tabs on Jerry Jones and how he feels as the draft draws near. If they take the quarterback of the future Barkley would be the safe bet, but it'd be a gamble taking him when the team has other needs that are greater. At the same time, Jones is known for making headlines and keeping the focus on his franchise so taking Barkley isn't too farfetched. When it comes to Jerry Jones and the NFL draft one can only expect the unexpected.

New! Facebook Comments

Leave a comment about this article in the box below and share it with your Facebook friends.

What do you think?

We'd love to hear your comments and/or opinions. If you submit them here, other visitors can read them, rate them and comment on them. An e-mail address is not required.

Top of This Page