Earlier today rabblerousr leaked the news that we will be teaming up to breakdown what prospects may make sense for the Cowboys in the 2013 NFL Draft. We both agree that there are some positions of strength this year that should relate to the Cowboys' draft needs next year. The position that we will focus on today, the quarterback, might be one of the most important positions in all of sports.
Related: Building The Cowboys' Roster: The "Five Positions Of Great Import"
The Cowboys have one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL with Tony Romo. Hate it or love it, but Romo is right up there with the best in the game. There are only four quarterbacks I would want over Romo. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Eli Manning are the quarterbacks that I consider to be the "elite" class, but I don't think Romo is too far behind them.
The problem with Romo is that he is beginning to age. Romo is 32 years old, but he is a young 32 due to the fact that he became a starter later into his career. He may have five to six years left as a good quarterback, but good teams always have the next guy waiting in line. The Cowboys have neglected the quarterback position in the draft for a very long time. Since 2001, the Cowboys have only drafted two quarterbacks, Quincy Carter and Stephen McGee. That is a very troubling statistic that needs to change.
Romo has two years left on his current contract and the Cowboys will have a difficult decision to make if they want to re-sign Romo long term. Personally I believe that we should continue to build around our current quarterback, but we definitely need to take a look at drafting a quarterback with a high draft pick next year.
Take the jump for the 2013 quarterback prospects.....
Barkley is the long shot on the list due to the fact that he is currently the #1 rated prospect on many draft boards scattered across the internet, but I have learned something during the past few drafts. After seeing the Cowboys land Dez Bryant and Morris Claiborne, I believe that anything is possible. I will no longer ignore a prospect becoming a Cowboy no matter how high they are ranked. I never thought Morris Claiborne would be a Dallas Cowboy, but we all know how that turned out.
USC quarterbacks haven't exactly been successful recently. Carson Palmer had some good years, but Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez have disappointed as high first-round picks, but I believe Barkley will buck that trend and become a successful quarterback in the NFL.
Barkley was groomed under quarterback guru Steven Clarkson and has been preparing to become an NFL quarterback his entire life. Barkley is an extremely smart player who spends a lot of time in the film room. His understanding of the game will help him out tremendously in the NFL. Matt Barkley possesses everything I would want in my quarterback. He is extremely accurate and has a very strong arm. Returning for his senior season was a great move because he will continue to grow as a quarterback.
Matt Barkley 2011 Highlights (HD) (via BlakeHarris23)
Honestly I don't know what to think about Landry Jones right now. He has the athletic ability and physical skills to become a very good quarterback in the NFL, but his decision making and lack of plays in big games leave a lot to be desired.
Jones has great arm strength and he could develop that into an elite ability. The problem is he will trust his arm too much and force throws that result in bad decisions. Jones will also fold under consistent pressure and he will throw the football without setting his feet. It's those type of decisions that have many wondering if he will be successful in the NFL.
Playing in a spread offense with a variety of weapons has done wonders for his stats, but it hasn't helped his development as a quarterback. I have become very weary of spread quarterbacks because the NFL runs a lot more complex offenses. Physically I really like what Jones would bring to the Cowboys and he could develop underneath Tony Romo for a couple of seasons. This is the type of quarterback where you draft him, develop him and hope he turns into a franchise quarterback. It's a risky proposition, but that's the nature of the game when it comes to the quarterback position.
Landry Jones 2011 Highlights (via themane20101)
If you are a fan of the Cam Newton type of quarterback play, then Thomas may be the prospect you need to watch for. Thomas is a big quarterback (6'5, 250) that can run the football, but he has a very good arm. Thomas really had a breakout season last year and elevated his game to the next level, but he still has a lot of developing to do before he can be considered a complete quarterback.
Thomas should be highly coveted if he enters the NFL Draft next year because he can make plays with his legs, but he has the arm strength to make the deep throw. He is a converted tight end who has a very high ceiling. Due to the success of Cam Newton, Thomas could go very high in the draft, but he has the type of upside that the Cowboys should be looking for.
If I had to pick an early quarterback favorite for the Cowboys in the 2013 NFL Draft, it would be Logan Thomas.
Logan Thomas vs Michigan (via JmpasqDraftjedi)
Of course I had to include a Razorback considering Jerry Jones loves drafting them (not really), but in all seriousness Wilson is a legit quarterback prospect with a lot of upside. Tyler Wilson is the best quarterback in the SEC West, but that really isn't a hard feat anymore because that division has become watered down at the quarterback position.
If Wilson has another productive season, he will be a high first-round draft pick that NFL teams will love due to his combination of size, arm strength and mobility. It will go a long way in my book if he can adjust to learning a new offense and performing well in it. Wilson doesn't have a lot of experience, but in his first season as the starter he had a breakout season and set a bunch of school records.
Wilson is another quarterback that probably would be best served to sit and learn while Tony Romo does his thing. Personally I believe that would be the best option for the Cowboys, draft a quarterback and develop him while Romo plays for a few more years. One of the positives about drafting a quarterback next year is that by the time Romo is ready to hang it up, we could have his replacement ready to go.
Tyler Wilson vs LSU 2011 (via JPDraftJedi)
The Cowboys don't have their future quarterback on the roster and I hate to say that, but it's the truth. It's time to bite the bullet and draft a quarterback with a high draft pick. If they don't step up and do that soon, they could be stuck with another situation similar to what happened after Troy Aikman retired, and I don't want to see this team go through that again.