Let's begin by stating the obvious. The Dallas Cowboys will not be drafting a quarterback in the first or second rounds. It's pretty unlikely that they even consider one in the third round. They simply have too many other pressing needs that they must address before taking a shot on a quarterback who may start in a few seasons.
To tack on to that thought, Tony Romo showed us this season that he's ready to go for multiple more seasons. Whether it's two, three, four or even five more years, Romo has time left in this league. If the offensive line plays the way they did in 2014, then Romo may still be playing as he gets closer to the age of 40.
Based on the current quarterbacks in the 2015 NFL Draft, there are truly two quarterbacks who jump out as potential "immediate starters", and those two are
What about after Winston and Mariota? Where should we expect to see those players drafted? Well, there's a solid group of quarterbacks who I believe may be good options to draft in the mid-rounds and groom as a future replacement for Romo. Drafting one of these quarterbacks will simply allow them to work with Romo and the coaching staff, while figuring out if they have a future as a starter in this league.
Let's look at a few possible options, and check out what round the Cowboys would likely need to draft each quarterback in if they fell in love with a specific one. The consensus will breakdown which quarterback I believe would make for the best possible choice for the future in Dallas.
2015 Quarterback Options For The Cowboys
Sean Mannion, Oregon State
Mannion absolutely lit it up in 2013. He was paired up with Brandin Cooks and the talented offense at Oregon State. This led to him throwing for 4,662 yards and 37 touchdowns with a 66.3 completion percentage. It was quite a year for him, but he definitely came back down to earth in 2014. His offensive line was below average last season, and losing Cooks obviously hurt, as he threw for just 3,164 yards, 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also completed just 62.3 percent of his passes.
Mannion is likely going to be drafted after a few other quarterbacks, and may be worth the Cowboys
Projected round: Early 5th
Bryce Petty, Baylor
After backing up Robert Griffin III and Nick Florence in his freshman and sophomore seasons, Petty came onto the scene with a bang in 2013. He threw for 32 touchdowns to just three interceptions as a junior, while also tossing for 4,200 yards. He came back down to earth just a bit last season, as he threw for 3,855 yards, 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The biggest question about Petty is his accuracy, as he completed 62 percent of his passes in 2013 and 63.1 percent in 2014.
As much as I like Petty as a player, he's too inaccurate at this point to take much of a risk on unless it's in the fourth or fifth round.
Projected round: 3rd
Shane Carden, East Carolina
Carden is a very interesting prospect, and he's a guy who I've paid quite a bit of attention to. He started three seasons for the Pirates, and he never threw more than 10 interceptions in a season. That includes in 2014 when he threw the ball 617 times and also in 2013 when he threw it 549 times.
His completion percentage in that ridiculous 2013 seasons
Why his completion percentage dipping a bit in 2014 doesn't overly concern me is because it almost seemed as though opposing defenses knew he was going to be throwing the ball a ton. If you can get Carden into a situation where he's not shouldering
Projected round: 4th
Other quarterbacks to watch: Brett Hundley, UCLA and Garrett Grayson, Colorado State
With so many quarterback needy teams in the NFL, I don't believe the Cowboys get a serious shot at either Hundley or Grayson. These two should both go in the second round, or possibly the early third. The Cowboys can't afford to use a second round pick on a quarterback, which is why I don't see either of these two ending up with a star on their helmet.
I actually believe that Petty should be a fourth- or fifth-round pick, but I also think that one team will likely fall in love and grab him in the third. In my opinion, the best prospect and option for the Cowboys is Carden. He can make big plays and is the perfect guy to have
Tack on the fact that it's pretty likely that the Cowboys could get him late in the fourth, or even early in the fifth round if they manage to move back, and it seems like the best option. Carden has a bright future, as long as he's not forced into action too quickly.