I want to start off by saying I am a huge Tony Romo fan. I think he is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL and is easily the most hated on player in the league. There are really not too many quarterbacks I would take over Romo, I think he is a top five quarterback in the NFL. I became a Romo fan the night he replaced Drew Bledsoe on Monday Night Football versus the New York Football Giants and was instantly hooked.
Tony Romo is a great quarterback in my eyes and I believe he is the caliber of quarterback that can win a Super Bowl, but the problem is, can he? I think Romo has a great work ethic and is a likeable player in the locker room. I believe he is a leader and if you have ever heard the man mic'd up you might understand what I mean. He is one of the most accurate passers in the league, yeah I am dead serious. He has the games where he is off and those games he is not accurate, but when he is on, he is on. Romo can also extend plays and scramble, I have witnessed some amazing plays by this man in his five year career.
Romo has a nice arm, and can make every throw a quarterback needs to make. There are a lot of Romo haters out there, and I could write a five thousand word post on why they are wrong, but this post isn't about that topic. Its about the prolific Cam Newton, a quarterback we just interviewed over the weekend. I want to state why I think the Cowboys should consider drafting Cam Newton and what he brings to the table.
When you pick in the top ten, you should interview every player you get the opportunity to interview. Paying your due diligence is a smart tactic for a few reasons. For starters, Cam Newton might be the best player on the board when the Cowboys go on the clock with the ninth overall pick. We could also possibly be playing Newton two times a year, it's a good idea getting familiar with a potential enemy. Also showing strong interest in Newton displays that we could actually select him with our ninth overall pick, thus showing the teams that are desperate for a quarterback we are serious. This also drives up the value and price of our ninth overall pick. If we decide to trade this pick, showing strong interest in Cam Newton gives us leverage in any deal we make with another team.
Now the reason I honestly believe the Cowboys should draft Newton is similar to the Aaron Rodgers scenario in the 2005 NFL Draft. Green Bay held the 24th pick of that draft and in my opinion, the best quarterback of the draft fell down the board all the way to them. Green Bay had Brett Farve at the time, a franchise quarterback with all the intangibles and skills you could ask for, but the Packers were looking ahead. They chose Aaron Rodgers and developed him for a couple years on the bench. Farve never showed this kid any love and Rodgers learned on his own, without the help of a great quarterback. I always felt Farve was threatened by Aaron Rodgers and instead of showing the kid the game and secrets, he ignored him. Well now Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL and isn't looking back. The Packers did exactly what the Cowboys should be thinking about now, preparing a quarterback underneath your aging franchise quarterback.
The Cowboys passed on Rodgers not once, but twice in the same draft. Dallas selected DeMarcus Ware with the 11th pick of that draft and got in my opinion the best player of the draft other than Rodgers. The Cowboys also possessed a second first round pick, # 20 overall and took defensive end Marcus Spears from LSU. Now in my opinion Bill Parcells did a lot of great things for this franchise, but he also ignored the main priority of any good football team, the quarterback position. We could of came away with the best pass rusher in football and a great young quarterback. Parcells did bring Tony Romo to Dallas and I give him credit there, but Parcells went with Drew Bledsoe over Aaron Rodgers, that is mind boggling.
One more theory I strongly believe in is being prepared and having the next guy in line. For some odd reason, we never acquired or drafted a young quarterback to prepare for the great Troy Aikman's departure. That blunder cost the Cowboys easily six years of heartbreak and we became the laughing stock of the league. Now in 2011 we are presented possibly with getting Tony Romo's future replacement. Romo turns 31 this year and is in the prime of his career possibly. Romo might be able to play into his 40's like Brett Farve has been able to do, but the difference is Romo started off at a later age than most players. Romo didn't take over as the full time starting quarterback into the 2006 season. I am not hating on Romo at any point in this article, I think Romo is a top five quarterback with all the right tools. But what the ‘Boys need to realize this time around is, prepare for Romo's departure. If this franchise never drafts a quarterback high in the draft and Romo has a sudden injury or falls off, we will be in the same boat we were after Aikman retired. Always prepare for the future, especially at quarterback.
I first want to start with that Cam Newton is a winner. We are talking about the Heisman Trophy winner and BCS National Championship winner. Newton in my opinion is the best quarterback in this draft. At 21 years old, Newton owns the two premier pieces every college player strives for. I did watch a lot of Auburn games this year, mainly because the SEC has a lot of players I was scouting and I was scouting Nick Fairley as well. When you watch Auburn play, you cannot help yourself from paying attention to Cam Newton. Every time I watched this kid play I was blown away. He finds ways to win games and great quarterbacks have that ability, its god given.
Newton didn't play with the most talented team either in my opinion. If you take Newton off that team, there is no way Auburn wins the national championship. Cam Newton single handedly won a lot of games for Auburn during their run to the national title. That's a major reason why I am a strong believer in Cam Newton, the kid is a winner. When it came down to a clutch play or a third down conversion, Newton stepped up and made the play. He just simply doesn't make too many mistakes during the course of a game. Newton didn't have a premier running back to carry the load. Newton didn't have a premier #1 wide receiver to take over games. Newton didn't have a game breaking tight end as his security blanket. Cam Newton put Auburn on his back and took them to another level.
The Cowboys are always looking for a player to be the face of the franchise. Stephen Jones just released a press statement stating that exact thing. He said the Cowboys are always looking for players who can be a face of the organization and a natural leader. Now I don't know if that was a shot at Romo to step his game up, but I think its more of a praise for the type of player Newton is. It could also be a reminder to Tony Romo that if you cannot take this team to a Super Bowl, we will find a player that will replace you.
If the Cowboys drafted Cam Newton, you would instantly have a leader and face of the franchise at the quarterback position. Now he would sit behind Romo and learn for a few years and that might be the best way to bring along a young quarterback, but when the time came it would be Newton's team. When the Cowboys finally hand over the team to him, Newton has the persona to survive in Dallas. With all the media coverage and hype surrounding him, he handled it the best anyone could have handled the situation. Newton is no stranger to being the face of a football team.
Auburn is a huge college program in the state of Alabama. Auburn football is basically NFL football for their fans because they have no professional team down there. Newton was the face of Auburn and achieved at the highest level for that team. I think coming from that situation will translate pretty well if he came to Dallas. The Dallas Cowboys are the most covered, followed and hated team in the NFL. Cam Newton would have no problems stepping up and becoming the face of this franchise. Remember, not every player is cut out for what it takes to play and succeed in Dallas.
When you see a athletic quarterback like Cam Newton, you assume he cannot throw the football that well. Well in this case, Newton has a premier arm for the NFL. He can make all the necessary throws at the NFL level, and he is still developing his skills. Even though he only started for one year at Auburn, Newton really has the arm to succeed at the next level. Mark Sanchez was similar to Newton in that he was only the starter at USC for a brief time. Mark Sanchez has already been to two AFC Championship games and established himself as a good young quarterback who is only going to get better as he gets older and the same could be said for Cam Newton.
A lot of people compare Newton to Vince Young, who also had major success at the college level, but I feel Newton is and will be a better player than Young. Newton was extremely accurate completing 66% of his passes. He also had 30 TD's to just 7 INT's. His yards per completion were 10.2 yards. Vince Young's college numbers were 61.8% and 8.4 yards per completion. Young also had Jamaal Charles, Limas Sweed and Jermichael Finley, Newton did not have the weapons Young did at Texas.
Newton is extremely accurate and I believe he will be a special player in the NFL because of his arm. He has the power and strength to make the deeper throws, but also has the accuracy to make the shorter intermediate throws. When you throw for 2854 yards, have 10.2 yards per completion, 30 TD's and only 7 INT's, you can throw the football pretty well in my book.
Newton faced the top competition while playing for Auburn in the SEC and was a great passer. He isn't just a athletic freak who can run all over defenders, he can air it out. Usually when I watch athletic quarterbacks I notice how they don't make the NFL throws needed to play on that level. Cam Newton can succeed at the next level because he can already throw the football extremely well, but he is also working on his mechanics like Tim Tebow did before the draft last year. Josh Freeman, Mark Sanchez and Cam Newton are athletic quarterbacks who will succeed in the NFL.
As we all know, Cam Newton is a excellent scrambler. Like Tony Romo, Newton can extend plays and make things happen. I believe in the NFL if you have the magic to do this, you truly are a special player. Donovan McNabb was a quarterback who had a great arm, but could scramble, especially on third down. Newton will use his arm first, he loves to throw the football, but he will use his legs if has too.
At 6'5 248 he will be able to use his size, especially in short yardage and down in the end zone. Also you have to recognize his size, strength and speed. In the NFL your going to be getting hit by some of the meanest defensive players in the world. Newton is big and strong enough to hold up to the rigors of the NFL. When you have a athletic quarterback like Newton, you can use him in a lot of ways. There is nothing worse than having a quarterback who cannot move, because there are a lot of times you need to step up in the pocket or scramble.
I love when Romo extends plays and throws a beautiful pass downfield to a streaking wide receiver that got open because of Romo's magic. Newton also has that kind of ability and when things break down Newton can make things happen. I cannot really explain that, I think you either have it or you don't. Romo is one of the first players I have seen like this, he is so slippery. The thing with Cam Newton is he doesn't have to be as slippery because of his size. He can be slippery, but he is so big he can run over defenders. I want my quarterback to be mobile and if he can use his legs that's another weapon to his arsenal. When you have 1473 yards rushing, a 5.6 yards per carry and 20 TD's, you're a pretty special threat on the ground.
The last area I want to touch on is being a leader. Not every quarterback is a leader. People bash Romo for this, but I think Romo is a leader in a lot of aspects. The dude breaks his collarbone and the first question was "Did he catch it"? While on the sideline Romo is trying to get back into the game, that shows me the guy is a leader. I have seen him mic'd up a few times and listening to what he is saying and how he is talking with coaches and players, that showed me he is a leader. All season Romo was on the sideline with a headset and was deeply involved with the team. Jay Cutler sat on the bench and isolated himself from the team in the NFC Championship game, had Romo did that he never would of heard the end of it. Romo is more of a leader than people make him out to be in my opinion.
So when your looking at a quarterback you want a leader, a guy who is going to rise up and lead the team. Cam Newton is also a leader. Players who win national titles and Heisman trophies are leaders. Newton is the kind of player teammates rally around and look to for when things are down. Newton went through a lot over the past few years. He had the whole Florida, Miss St and Auburn issue. He got into trouble for stealing a computer or something like that but kids make mistakes. You have to remember this was a 19, 20 year old kid at college. We all make mistakes.
The whole issue about getting paid to go to Miss St doesn't bother me, you know why? Because a lot of players take money in college sports. I think you're a moron if you don't believe players take money to go to certain schools. This has been going on for a long time and it will not end. There will always be payoffs, sometimes people get caught. I know if I was offered 50,000 dollars to play for a certain school I would take it. Not every player comes from a great home. Cam Newton is a good kid with a questionable father. Do not judge Newton for his father, Newton is a great young man. Look at that smile, look at how he handles himself on the field.
Newton has vastly matured in a very short time. He went from being pissed off about being behind Tim Tebow and running around Florida like a thug, into a Heisman and BCS champion. Newton had a lot of growing up to do while he was playing at a JUCO college preparing for his return to college football and I am sure that was a humbling experiance that motivated him to grow up. He had all the allegations going on throughout the season and still never got distracted by that. In the video below listen to his combine interview, he is very believable and sincere. When I listen to him talk I just get this feeling that this kid can lead. I would go to war with him, I would block as hard as I could for him. Players rise their game to another level and give 110% when players like Newton are on their teams.
(HD) Cam Newton - 2010-11 Highlights - All the Above (via UnrivaledShogun)
Cam Newton Workout Highlights (via BryanDFischer)
Cam Newton Prepares Opening Statement (via CBSSports)
Now I want a offensive lineman with our 9th overall pick. Tyron Smith is my guy, and has been for months now. But Smith could be gone by the 9th pick and that would crush me. Regardless we have Tony Romo as our quarterback and Romo is a damn good player. Romo is good enough to win a Super Bowl here, what he needs is a offensive line to protect him and open up the run game. Drafting Cam Newton does make sense for the future and you cannot ignore addressing the future. You have to realize, Romo will not be here forever. Remember how bad it got after Aikman retired? I never want to go through that again guys. Cam Newton makes a lot of sense for us, but if we are drafting for winning right now, then a offensive tackle is the answer.
I want to prepare you for this pick if indeed it happens. Jerry loves players like Cam Newton, remember Quincy Carter? Regardless, even if we draft Cam Newton you should be thrilled because you have a franchise quarterback waiting and developing. Look at the success of the young quarterbacks in the league. Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, Ben Roethlisberger (the early years) and Josh Freeman. Young quarterbacks can win in the NFL at a high level, especially if they go to a team with a good defense and run game. I want to draft Tyron Smith and I love Tony Romo, but its always smart to prepare for the future. Also showing this much interest in Newton pushes up the value of our draft pick.
Its chess, not checkers. Prepare for the future. Do your homework during the draft. If the Cowboys feel Cam Newton is a franchise player and draft him, I cannot bash that pick. Yes, I want Tyron Smith or a cornerback, maybe even a defensive end. But weird things happen during the draft, and players fall. We witnessed the Chargers end up with Phillip Rivers while they had Drew Brees. At the quarterback position you should always have the next guy in line. At the end of the day I want my blue chip offensive tackle in Tyron Smith. But if Jerry takes Newton, I cannot fault him for that. Newton is the whole package a franchise can build around and make money off of. From a football and business standpoint I understand it. I still want Tyron Smith, but I would not cry about this draft pick.
My purpose of writing articles on Mark Ingram and Cam Newton is to open your minds up. You should always look at the positives and negatives of selections like this.