Yesterday the Dallas Cowboys used one of their 60 interviews at the scouting combine to talk to Johnny Manziel, and while the Cowboys are unlikely to take the former Texas A&M quarterback, it was a reminder that in the NFL, quarterback is always on your mind.
As Tony Romo continues to rehab from back surgery it seems pretty natural for the media and fans to wonder about the quarterback position and its future beyond the teams 32 year old quarterback.
In reality, it is far too early to start thinking about life after Romo. The Cowboys have other, more pressing offensive and defensive needs.
Selecting Manziel, or any other quarterbacks in this draft would not put this team in any better of a position to win next season.
I have mentioned in previous articles about how it’s important for teams to stick to their draft boards, not simply to draft based on their needs and that a team cannot be afraid to draft a player at a position of strength, but when it comes to QB, things are a little different because of the nature of the position.
Last offseason the Cowboys invested $108 million on Romo in a six year contract extension with $55 million in guarantees and a $25 million signing bonus that goes into effect this season. Isn’t that a pretty big investment to make to then turn around the next year and spend a high to mid round draft pick on a player who could never see the field in their first contract?
Sure, Romo probably doesn’t play out all of those six years on that contract extension, but even if it’s only for the next three years he Cowboys simply cannot afford to use a draft pick on someone who has no shot at starting, or even seeing playing time (barring injury) for the next three seasons?
Some coaches can take quarterbacks and turn them into commodities like Andy Reid. Their organization trading them away for value, but Dallas has not proven itself to be one of those teams.
Do they really need another Stephen McGee?
Dallas simply does not have the luxury of being able to address quarterback in this year’s draft with so many other areas of need.
It isn’t like Romo’s play has dropped off. If anything he had one of the best seasons of his carrier last year, throwing for 3,828 yards, 31 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions in 15 games.
Owner Jerry Jones has talked at length about wanting to do everything he can to help head coach Jason Garrett be successful, that he sees Garrett as part of the long term future of the Cowboys and little by little this off season we have seen him relinquish some of his control to Garrett.
Going into next season with only a year left on his original contract does not give Garret a lot of Job security though and taking a quarterback this year does nothing to help Garrett keep his job.
The only thing that could be worse for Garrett’s and his future as The Cowboys’ head coach is if the team traded out of the first round.
Dallas is in need of players who can come in and play immediately. They need players that will impact the team right away at their given position.
The path to success in today’s NFL is building through the draft and really has been for a long time. There cannot be a New York Yankees with the way the NFL’s salary cap is set up. If you want to be consistently successful as a team, your life line has to be the draft.
The time will come when the Cowboys need to take a quarterback to try to develop and replace Romo but if the organization wants to take that next step over the 8-8 hump, they best think about pulling that trigger some other year.