I am not into silver linings. I am not into seeking out scapegoats upon whom to heap blame when a quarterback piles up an inexcuseable total of turnovers. Im not into watching the same thing week after week, and expecting it to suddenly change. Tony Romo is ruined. It doesn't matter who's fault that is. It doesn't matter if he's been ruined by an organization saddling too much on his shoulders. It doesn't matter if he's been ruined by a lack of adequate protection, or lack of a running game, or the absence of a capable defense with the exception of this season. All that matters is what the Cowboys do next at the QB position.
Long before the disasters Romo has orchestrated vs. the Bears, and now the Giants, I have been standing on my soapbox, hoping anybody see's things the way I see them. The quarterback is rounding the bend into the middle 30's, and the turnovers are not only NOT decreasing, they are in rapid incline. I'd still take Tony Romo over all but about 8 guys in this league. Still, the future can not be neglected. This roster has some fantastic building blocks, and is set up to be strong for another decade. Regardless of his level of play, Tony Romo will not be here another decade.
Again I point to the best example I have. Not that long ago this Cowboys team thought an aging Troy Aikman had more years left than he did. One play changed all that, and the Cowboys had no one to turn to. It took 7 LONG years to find the next guy. I'd much rather be in the position the Green Bay Packers were, when they were at liberty to have a Mexican standoff with a waffling Brett Favre, because the next guy was already in the fold. If the situation come to frution, the cowboys MUST invest first round currency on a signal caller for the future. That said, throw my hat in the ring for Florida State Quarterback EJ Manuel.
I admit bias in this situation, simply because as a Florida State fan, I have watched every game Manuel has ever played. My perspective on Manuel far exceeds the extent of knowledge I have on any other draft eligible college QB. There are other fantastic prospects, and I know a lot changes between October and April as far as draft positioning. Still, it's hard to watch Manuel's entire career and find much of anything negative to say.
The measureables stick out. A 6'5", 238 lb. frame with smooth mobility, and a big time arm with a touch on deep balls that really shines.
Make note that Manuel currently has the highest completion percentage in ACC history. He plays in an offense that is NOT a college gimmick. The 'Noles run zone-read type of stuff only as a change of pace. Manuel splits the maority of his time about evenly taking snaps under center in the I-formation, and operating from the gun. FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher raves about how much he has been able to place on Manuel's shoulders as far as pre snap responsibilities, and target progression. Manuel is also endlessly praised for his attention to detail, and work ethic. He's not a guy who's been in any kind of trouble, not a guy from a bad family, and not a weed smoker.
In watching Manuel through the years, the most comforting thing about him is that on the RARE occasions he does throw an interception, it's never a "What the hell was he thinking?" He will occasionally have a ball sail on him, or leave his hand funny. Im much more comfortable with a coachable issue like that, than a lack of ability to read coverage, or just a lack of vision or awareness.
Im not sure if Manuel is a day one NFL starter, but the Cowboys don't need that. They need an intelligent, driven, hard worker with no physical/mental limitations to lead this team into the next decade. Look around the league at every starting quarterback. Largely first round guys. There are a few Romo's, Brady's, Russell Wilsons sprinkled throughout, but my unofficial count is 23 of 32 teams starting a 1st round pick (2 2nd rounders) at quarterback. Im not into reaching on anybody, the pick and value have to be right. But if the Cowboys find a franchise quarterback staring them in the face in April, they have to pull the trigger. I would prefer if that guy is EJ Manuel.
What college QB would you like to see lead our beloved Cowboys in the years to come?