Dec 13, 2013; Charleston, IL, USA; Eastern Illinois Panthers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws the ball during the fourth quarter against the Towson Tigers at O

With So Many Needs, Can the Dallas Cowboys Afford to Draft a QB?

Oct 22, 2013; Jonesboro, AR, USA; Arkansas State Red Wolves quarterback Adam Kennedy (5) rushes against the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin

This is a question I’ve asked myself many times. Not just this season but the past few seasons. It seems the Cowboys have so many needs on this team, drafting a QB would seem wasteful of a pick, right? Obviously this team needs depth at QB, and needs to think about life after Romo, but we’re still talking about a backup position. Let’s look at the argument.

The Cowboys need to draft a QB

Aug 23, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson during warmups prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. Seattle won 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Ted Thompson, the much respected General Manager of the Green Bay Packers, famously said that a team should draft a QB every year. The QB position is just that important. Whether you need a starter or not, a team should always be developing a QB.

The bust rate is high for NFL QBs so by Ted Thompson’s logic, it becomes a numbers game. The more attempts you make at finding a good QB, the more likely you will find one. It’s almost like throwing them against a wall and seeing who sticks.

Being a Ted Thompson supporter myself, I have great respect for this strategy. I figure if you use mid to late round picks the investment is reasonable. I don’t believe in drafting ANY QB, just for the sake of drafting one, but rather target a few interesting prospects you think could one day develop.

The most important position on the team is unquestionably the QB, so ensuring you have options behind the starter is just smart business. Injuries, age, and growing financial demands, are just a few things teams must account for when dealing with the QB position. Having a pipeline to the future and options available is more than just insurance – It’s necessary.

The Cowboys cannot waste a pick on a QB

Here is the other side of the argument. The Cowboys currently have open competition for at least 8 positions on this team (and probably more). Think about it: Both Defensive Tackles (Hatcher is sure to leave in free agency), Defensive End (Anthony Spencer is probably gone), SAM and WILL LB (Bruce Carter will be fighting his WILL spot), FS, Offensive Guard, and possibly even Right Tackle or WR.

With so many needs, can the Cowboys afford to use a pick on a backup position like QB? Drafting a QB every year would be as dumb as drafting a TE every…errr…the Cowboy’s obsession with drafting TEs is a topic for another day…

The Verdict

I see the Cowboys so far away from contender status, that I am extremely tempted to deviate from Ted Thompson’s advice and recommend the Cowboy’s avoid the QB position this draft. But short-term thinking like that is what got us into this mess in the first place.

Obviously I don’t want the Cowboys drafting a QB just for the sake of drafting a QB. The plan should be to identify a couple mid-to-late round QBs who have the potential to one day become starting QBs. Developing a young QB should be an annual objective. To properly develop a young QB, roadblocks like Kyle Orton need to be removed.

I think if Tony Romo goes down, I want the Cowboys to lose every game. I don’t want Orton or another veteran stepping in to help the Cowboys tread water. Treading water is what the Cowboys have done for the past 3 years and I’m sick of it. I want them to rebuild and if that means rolling the dice with an unproven backup- then so be it.

What say you?

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Dallas Cowboys Ted Thompson Tony Romo

  • Jimmy DeMarco

    I think the goal of every team is to win, regardless of the circumstances. But I do agree with you about us treading water, it’s completely unacceptable.
    And if Romo was to go down, I would rather have someone else, other than Orton out there. And if we end up with 4 or 5 wins, that’s a top 5 pick in next year’s draft & a qb.
    Obviously it’s not a guarantee that whoever we draft is going to be our future qb, no one is ever guaranteed. But, it definitely gives us a better chance of having that guy then if we keep sitting in the middle of the pack in the draft.

    • Reid Hanson

      Right, finding a QB is really tough and the odds are stacked against you. That’s why Thompson says to do it every year because eventually you’re bound to hit blackjack. The money says Romo is locked in for 4 years (maybe 3 if we can take the hit). That basically gives Dallas 3-4 drafts to find someone.

      • Jimmy DeMarco

        It is an interesting method. I’m wondering if it makes sense to draft a Garoppollo in the 3rd or 4th, or draft a Savage or Guiton in the 7th round.

  • Scott.

    Your last point is what I’ve said on a few other treads. Get rid of Orton and his salary and replace him with whoever cause they won’t make playoffs next year and if they do it won’t be with a backup qb.

    • Reid Hanson

      The only problem with this whole Orton situation is he was re-upped this year so we’re likely stuck with him for 2 more years at over $4M.

  • Assassin

    Actually there are plenty of picks in the 7th round to pick up a developmental QB. Right now we have 2, but will probably get 2 more compensatory picks in the 7th. Right now I’m liking Dustin Vaughn, 6’5, 240, set some insane passing records at West Texas A&M. AFCA First Team All-America, 447 of 675 for a 66.2 average with 5,401 yards and 53 touchdown passes in 2013. Vaughan is the only quarterback at any level to pass for 5,000 yards this season as he led the nation in passing and was second in passing yards per game. His 53 touchdown passes also led the nation and was the most in conference history in a season, as well as being third-most all-time in Division II. Vaughan is a two-time LSC Offensive and Academic Player of the Year and was the LSC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2012-13. He owns the school and conference record for career passing yards (13,525), total yards (13,608) and touchdowns (123).