Outside of Mr. Jones himself, there is perhaps no more polarizing figure at Valley Ranch than Tony Romo. Some members of the Dallas Cowboys faithful swear by the team's quarterback while others swear at him. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle. The Dallas passer evokes strong emotions on both sides. Regardless of which camp you fall into, one thing is for certain: Tony Romo cannot last forever. He is now 34 years old, and eventually his battle-scarred body is going to tire of the rigors of professional football. In the near future Dallas is going to need to find the heir to one of the most prestigious jobs in all of football.
Nobody is suggesting that the Cowboys could have a new leader at the helm when training camp opens this summer in Oxnard. Barring a tragedy, Romo will once again lead the Cowboys into battle. What is becoming a more distinct possibility is that when the team ventures west the 'crown prince' could also be on the roster. I have long felt that Dallas should follow the lead that the Green Bay Packers set when they brought in Aaron Rodgers to serve as understudy to Bret Favre. Now it looks like the boss is beginning to share my point of view.
"We do have to look to the future relative to quarterback. It's starting a timeframe where a guy could come in and be a good backup." - Jerry Jones
While I referred to Rodgers as an example, Jones chose a different route to give reporters a clear picture of what the Dallas front office is thinking of.
"Look at how Romo evolved into the guy he is today. He did a little time with the clipboard."
The fact that the Cowboys might be taking a serious look at a future beyond Romo should come to no surprise to the Blogging The Boys community. My colleague and mentor, One Cool Customer, broached the subject over a week ago in his look at prospects that the team was bringing for visits prior to the draft. As OCC summarized, the timing could be right for the Cowboys to bring in a guy to develop if they can get him at a reasonable cost.
Outside the top two prospects, this year's draft class does not feature any passer who should be expected to come in and contribute immediately. That likely means that a guy like a Bryce Petty could be available toward the middle of day two and in those circumstances there is a chance that the Cowboys may consider pulling the trigger. The team has covered quite a few glaring weaknesses in recent drafts and, while some still remain, they are at a crossroads where it does make sense to start taking calculated risks.
One of those risks might be taking a shot at bringing in the quarterback of the future. If they do, some will be pleased to see the team planning for the future; for others it will be viewed as a wasted draft pick. That is the nature of things in the Cowboys Universe. The question I pose to you is, how would you feel if the Cowboys drafted Romo's replacement this year?