Okay – so we are all trying to figure out what is going on with Tony Romo. As of right now all we know is he has a herniated disc and had a shot this morning. If he is unable to play that means Kyle Orton is the starting QB and with the signing of Jon Kitna we have a backup. While this impacts the game this Sunday, we won’t be covering that today. After speaking with a ton (literally – I think they would measure out that way) of Cowboys fans and hearing that the Cowboys need to draft a QB in the first round this upcoming draft, it has caused me to slow the craziness down a little here.
First, let’s make something really clear, we don’t know how bad Romo is injured or his season/career status. Regardless, it has been a long time coming that we need to groom his backup. While there have been shouts for Manziel, Petty, Fales, and a few other potential first rounders mentioned, I am not so sure a first round draft pick needs to be thrown at a quality QB.
This led me on a quest (think Sir Galahad and the Holy Grail). What exactly is the success rate of QBs in the league, and mostly first round QBs? What I found was actually quite interesting. While we all know the stories of JeMarcus Russel, Tim Tebow and Matt Leinart in recent years, there have been legendary failures as well. I found that first round QBs are a 50/50 shot. There is a higher success rate if they are either groomed or do not start the first game of their first season. We need to be picky and get a QB that has the ability to make all of the NFL throws and has at least some mobility. More than likely, our candidate like most, will come from a NCAA Div 1 school. We need to find an early round QB that has for some reason dropped in ranking or displays has early round talent but is missing the visibility. Then, we Romo-groom him.
Looking at this draft there will most likely be 9 QBs taken in the first round this year as per scouts.com, and the success rate on those 9 is that 4-5 will be starting quality QBs. Looking at the Cowboys there is a lot this team needs to address, and I think most fans can agree a majority of them are on defense. Taking our first round pick to get a QB will sacrifice the critical needs on such a historically bad defense.
A few weeks ago I posted my first draft picks and in the 7th round had Kenny Guiton from Ohio State. Not many people noticed it or asked about it. My thinking was Kenny Guiton is one of those guys, played for a big school, is a great teammate, was considered a leader, can make all of the throws, and has really good mobility. The problem with Guiton is he is was the backup to Braxton Miller. It wasn’t until Miller went out with an injury that anyone even realized Guiton was a really good QB. Because his resume isn’t very big he will drop to, at the best, 6th round. A candidate like Guiton will recognizethe opportunity he is being given – driving up his desire to perform and learn. Groom a guy like that for a year or two and you have the recipe for a pretty good QB. Now I am not saying I am stuck on Guiton, I am saying a guy like him will provide value in a draft where so many other needs trump the need for a backup QB.
So, beloved Cowboy fans, slow down a little on needing a first round QB. I am not doubting the need for a QB, in fact I am saying we needed to start grooming one two years ago. However, here we are, looking down the barrel of Kyle Orton’s arm wondering if we can get Tanney back from the Browns.
After completing my quest, I’ve come to the conclusion that we need to shake off the belief that first round QB’s are the magic bullet, and travel a road that may be a little rockier but has a better statistical chance of leading us to the holy grail. I want a better return than 50/50 on a 1st round investment.