Cowboys Myths... The Romo Replacement...

I have noticed there have been a few ideas floating the around the Blogging the Boys community, that are either not fully thought out, or are just plain not true, and instead of trolling around making comments on every post where I see these sorts of things, I decided to do a full post addressing these issues as I notice them.

Myth #1: The Cowboys HAVE to draft a QB in the first or second round in 2013 or 2014

This morning I read a front page post by Archie Barberio, highlighting a few of the top QB prospects that should be available in the 2013 draft and stated that it is time for the Cowboys to begin to consider selecting a QB in the first round of the 2013 draft. However I think there are some aspects of this decision that weren't mentioned in those posts that should be considered.

First of all Tony Romo's current contract will expire after the 2013 season, when he will be 33. I think there is very little doubt that the Cowboys will attempt to extend Tony's contract, especially because they feel like he is a "young 32" because he has only started since the 2006 season. I looked back at several retirement ages for good-to-great QB's throughout the last few decades and noticed that most of them either retire, or see significant decline in their play around 35 or 36.

Based on other recent QB contract negotiations, I think you can expect to see Romo sign atleast a 4 year extension, and expect him to play atleast 3 of those years, which will have him finishing the 2016 season at the age of 35 to turn 36 that April, and under contract for 1 more season. However that 4th season will likely be the time when the cap implications of keeping him will flip to make it cheaper to not having him around. So I think you have to plan to have your new QB ready to start in 2017.

All drafted players now receive 4 year contracts, and 1st round contracts include a team option for a 5th year. If you were to select a QB in 2013, 2017 would be his option year, that would mean you put yourself in position to have to decide whether or not to pick up a fairly expensive option year on a players contract who you hope not to have to see play at all in games that count.

I think the year to draft the next Cowboys QB would be 2015, maybe even 2016. This gives the young guy atleast 1-2 years to be the primary back up to Romo, and learn how to be a pro before being required to lead the team. It also gives the team 2-3 years to evaluate the young guy in real games before having to decide whether or not to extend his contract. Most QB evaluators say that a QB will "be who he is going to be" by about his 40th start in the NFL. So midway through the QB's 3rd full season of starts you should know what kind of QB he is going to be for his career. Of course there are exceptions to this rule but it is a guideline that should be noted.

The QB position is the most important in football, and Cowboy fans are forever scarred by the dark ages of QB play that fell between Troy Aikmans departure and Tony Romo's arrival. However, those past experiences, and fears associated with them can't drive us to acting prematurely, especially in a time when QB's are coming into the NFL more ready to play than ever. Jason Garrett, and Jerry and Stephen Jones know that at some point they will have to find someone to take Tony Romo's place. But I believe they also know that time isn't necessarily 2013.

Another thing to consider is that rarely do these heir apparent situations work out well for the team or the new QB. Situations like Bubby Brister/Bryan Griese taking over for John Elway in Denver, Kevin Kolb for Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia, Jay Fiedler for Dan Marino in Miami and so forth, and you'll realize that the Aaron Rodgers for Brett Favre, and Steve Young for Joe Montana examples are exceptions not the rule. (I'm not counting Andrew Luck, because he wasn't on the Colts roster at the same time as Peyton).

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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