With the Dallas Cowboys having the fourth pick in the draft, many want a quarterback, but there are other ways to go.
Without a doubt, the Dallas Cowboys need a young quarterback on this team. Even with Jerry Jones saying Kellen Moore could be the backup, it is apparent that the Cowboys, do in fact, need a quarterback to groom behind Tony Romo. With all the talk of getting the young quarterback in the draft, there are other ways to go in this year’s draft.
First, in free agency, there are a few quality backups that would be serviceable for a year or two while the Cowboys re-train them to fit into the Cowboys’ current system. Names like Johnny Manziel and Robert Griffin III have been mentioned relentlessly, however, if the Cowboys want to stay away from a circus, then a player like Ryan Fitzpatrick could be had more cheaply. It may not be the best free agent class, but it would be an improvement over what is currently on the roster.
Since the 2016 NFL Draft is seen as a weak draft class for QBs, the first round is probably not a very wise place to gamble on a QB. I know there will be some people calling for my head for skipping on Paxton Lynch and Jared Goff, but hear this out:
The Cowboys have a lot of holes to fill, and since they traded two picks away this season, what better chance than to trade down in the draft to get some of the picks back. There are plenty of teams behind the Cowboys who will need a starting quarterback: the Philadelphia Eagles, St Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers – all of them could be worthy trade partners.
If the Cowboys do in fact trade down in the first, they could try to target Ezekiel Elliot, the running back out of Ohio St.; A’Shawn Robinson, the defensive tackle out of Alabama; or even Vernon Hargreaves, the cornerback out of Florida. One of them should be available in the early-to-mid-first round. This will set up a fantastic second round.
In the second round is where a quarterback should be available. In the top of the second round, Christian Hackenberg should still be available and is quite a good quarterback prospect. He is forgoing his senior season and has recently declared for the draft.
He probably won’t be the only quarterback available at that point either. Every year QBs move up and down the board and are available at the top of the second round. The Cowboys could get a difference-maker in the first, and still invest in a QB for the future in the second. Picking a quarterback in the second round makes a lot more sence given the vast needs of this roster.
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With a combination of Elliot and Hackenberg, the Cowboys have a star running back to pair with current starting running back, Darren McFadden. A steady combination of McFadden (who will be 30 next season) and Elliot, with Dunbar as a change-of-pace weapon, gives the Cowboys a formidable run game once again. Hackenberg would provide a groom-able quarterback that would learn and grow while the Cowboys used Romo.
It may not make everyone happy, but it fills two huge holes for the Cowboys and allows them to stockpile a few picks in the process – picks that will be needed to get back into the playoff hunt next season. The Cowboys need quality, and between a few smart picks in the draft and a few smart moves in free agency, the Cowboys could be at the top of the NFC next season.
So with the fourth pick in the 2016 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys…..