At age 34, Tony Romo is not getting younger. Playing behind a horrible offensive line for years, Tony Romo has taken a toll on his body. All Cowboys fans know that Tony Romo will try to suit up each week to play. In 2011, many remember Romo’s game-winning overtime drive against the 49ers. In that game, Romo played through a fractured rib and a punctured lung. For many that do not know, a punctured lung is when air builds up and separates the lung from the chest wall. Because of this, it is extremely hard to breathe. Romo was able to play through that.
Over the years, Romo has broke his clavicle and played through multiple play-in games with an injured throwing hand. In fact, Romo fractured a few ribs this year against the Giants in the first week of the season. Those injured ribs would linger on through much of the 2013 season. Against the Washington Redskins in week 16, to keep Dallas’ playoff hopes alive, Romo stayed in the game, even though he badly-injured his back in the third quarter. Down nine with around four minutes left, Romo and the Cowboys scored 10 unanswered points knock off the Redskins in Washington. After the win, news broke out the Romo was done for the season. It wasn’t until the Thursday before Dallas’ week 17 matchup versus Philadelphia that Romo was ruled out. Although season-ending surgery was inevitable, Romo still made an effort to play against the Eagles.
Despite being signed to a massive extension before the 2013 season, the Cowboys need to start planning for the future at the quarterback position. The Cowboys missed their opportunity to draft their quarterback of the future in last year’s draft. But there are many quarterbacks that could help this team in the long-run that will be drafted on day two in May’s draft.
Are There Solutions In Free Agency?
Like I said earlier, the Cowboys are in no rush to find a new starting quarterback. Tony Romo will be Dallas’ quarterback for the next few years. As of now, the Cowboys are 22 million over the cap. Knowing that, money should not be spent on a player who will not see more than 50 snaps, barring any injury. If the Cowboys would like to sign a project-quarterback at the league minimum, some options include Josh Freeman, Jimmy Clausen, and Tyler Wilson. The three quarterbacks I just named will all be reclamation projects for the Cowboys.
In 2013, Freeman was berated by almost every NFL fan. Within the right franchise, Freeman may be able to find his talent. But, Dallas is not the place for him. Clausen has had one of the most disappointing careers from a top-ranked quarterback in over years. He was drafted high out of Notre Dame, and his career hasn’t panned out the way people thought it would. The best option in free agency is definitely Tyler Wilson. Wilson is still relatively young, and he was one of the best quarterbacks in last year’s draft class. In his last year of college football, Wilson under-acchieved on a tumultuous Arkansas team. Tyler Wilson would be the best fit from free agency, if the Cowboys select to go that route.
Are There Solutions In The Draft?
To find a quarterback of the future, teams usually turn to the NFL draft. No matter how a
quarterback performed in college, any quarterback can become the next Joe Montana. Although Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel will likely be the top quarterbacks taken, that does not mean they will be the best quarterbacks from this draft class at the next level. There are many quarterbacks in this draft class that could benefit by sitting behind Tony Romo. The three players I like the most are Jimmy Garoppolo, David Fales, and A.J. McCarron.
At first glance, many will see McCarron and wonder how he could become a Cowboy. By denying his invite to the Senior Bowl, McCarron’s stock is trending downward. I believe the Cowboys need to wait until the third round to take a quarterback. This team has too many glaring needs that need to be upgraded. All three of these quarterbacks will most likely be available in the third round. Although, Garoppolo could move up draft boards with his Shrine Game performance and his upcoming performance at the Senior Bowl.
If the Cowboys want to wait until day three to select a quarterback, there are still good options that should be available. Players like Casey Pachall, Zach Mettenberger, and Keith Wenning will all be options for the Cowboys in the fifth round and on. Mettenberger would likely go as a second round pick, if he did not have a season-ending ACL injury late in the season. Pachall is a guy that has potential, but he was not as productive as he should have been at TCU. Wenning boosted his performance at the Shrine Game. Because of that, there will be many teams looking to draft him.
What Is The Verdict?
The Cowboys haven’t drafted a quarterback since 2009 when they selected Stephen McGee out of Texas A&M. Five years have gone by and McGee is out of the league. With Romo coming back from a herniated disc, there is a reason to be concerned. Having a developmental quarterback behind Romo could help now, and in the future. Out of all the quarterbacks I just named, Jimmy Garoppolo is my favorite.
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