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Cowboys News & Notes: Could QB-Needy Cowboys Leapfrog Browns For Top QB Prospect?

Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys cannot waste rare opportunity to draft in top 5; RGII vs Manziel; how desperate are Cowboys for a QB?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Mel Kiper labels Cowboys threat to leapfrog Browns at No. 2 - Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal
The Browns are widely believed to be the team that will pick the first QB in the draft. But what if the Cowboys trade up to pick ahead of them? Mel Kiper chatted about the possibility in a recent conference call.

"Dallas at four could jump ahead of Cleveland and take Jared Goff. Tennessee could move from one to four and still get a really good defensive back like [Florida State's] Jalen Ramsey, a versatile corner/safety, which would fill a need. Or you stay at one and take [Ohio State defensive end] Joey Bosa or Laremy Tunsil, a left tackle from Ole Miss, and you would move Taylor Lewan to right tackle."

Kiper's theory is based on the Cowboys needing a successor for quarterback Tony Romo, 35, who's recovering from a broken collarbone.

"I think it's going to be very tempting to go quarterback," Kiper said. "When you look at the team picking second being Cleveland and you're picking fourth and you've got a shot to get a player of the caliber of Jared Goff and be the heir apparent to Tony Romo, you've got to think that's at least a possibility. You could go from four to one and get yourself a quarterback and let him sit, watch and learn behind Tony."

3 reasons Cowboys should draft QB in 1st round (even if it means moving up) - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay
Cowlishaw argues that the Cowboys gave themselves the rare opportunity to find a quarterback near the very top (through their own ineptitude in 2015), and can't afford to blow that chance.

If the Cowboys truly believe they will return to playoff status in 2016, then they recognize -- as owner Jerry Jones has said -- that this could be and should be a rare opportunity to draft near the top of the board.

And if that even means moving up higher from the No. 4 spot if necessary to take Goff, they are in position to accomplish this.

It's time for Cowboys to take care of of their future at quarterback - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
In his most recent mailbag, Sturm left no doubts about where he stands in the QB debate.

I am thinking I would want to grab my highest available QB at #4 in the 1st round. Wentz, Lynch, or Goff. It is time to take care of this as I try to keep Romo healthy for a few more years.

Here's how QB Carson Wentz figures in Cowboys' draft, long-term plans - Charles Robinson, Yahoo Sports
Nobody knows today if and how the Cowboys will make a play for Wentz, but this article suggests the Cowboys have given the topic a lot of thought.

While Dallas didn't go out of its way to wave the Senior Bowl pom-poms for Wentz, Cowboys director of player personnel Stephen Jones had a fairly developed line of thought when it came to plucking a quarterback high in this year's draft. To put it succinctly: This isn't some mock draft fantasy. If Wentz is the right guy and right move for the future transition of the franchise, Dallas is prepared to make that decision. And if it means Tony Romo will have to spend a few years mentoring a young guy like Wentz, well, Jones thinks Romo will be a good company man. Even if that means sacrificing a high pick (and a potential instant impact player) in favor of someone who might not take over for a few years.

Twitter mailbag: Believe Jerry Jones' QB words at own risk - Todd Archer, ESPN
Just because Jerry Jones said the Cowboys don't need to draft a quarterback doesn't mean they won't pick one anyway, Archer explains in his Twitter mailbag.

I understand Jerry Jones said the Cowboys "don’t have to" draft a quarterback, but I’ll remind everybody that Jones also has said in the past, "Just because I said it, doesn’t make it so." In the literal sense, Jones is correct. The Cowboys don’t have to draft a quarterback, but I don’t think a statement in January will have any meaning when the draft rolls around. In fact, I had an agent of one of the top quarterbacks coming out tell me, "I’m glad he said it. Now that means he’s taking a quarterback."

There are miles to go in this draft process and there will be many twists and turns, so don’t take anything you see, hear or read as gospel from the Cowboys or anybody else. It’s a complete guessing game. As of today, if you’re asking me if the Cowboys will take a quarterback in the first round, I would say no. Will they draft one at some point? As of today, I’d say yes even with Jones’ comment.

Carson Wentz stating a positive case at the Senior Bowl -Todd Archer, ESPN
North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz has shown NFL measurables and confidence at the Senior Bowl workouts this week, and easily drawn the most attention of any of the eight quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl.

While impressed with the resume, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones did not want to get into the early thoughts on Wentz.

"It’s unfair to any of these guys to start to judge them right now," Stephen Jones said. "Call it instant scouting – we’re just not going to do that. There’s a lot of work to do on these players. Lot of work – whether they’re a quarterback, whether they’re a receiver or defensive lineman. We’ve got a lot of work to do. To pre-determine something right now – that’s just not responsible."


Art Briles: Cowboys would be 'dream' spot for Robert Griffin; 'it wouldn't hurt ticket sales' - Brandon George, SportsDay
Speaking to reporters at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Briles furthered speculation that Robert Griffin could end up wearing a star next season.

"That would be a great place for him," Briles said. "It's a great organization; being back in Texas and with the Cowboys and having a chance to get in there under Romo for three years. Not that they need to sell tickets, but it wouldn't hurt ticket sales."

Dallas Cowboys: Daryl Johnston: Cowboys not 'right fit' for Johnny Manziel, but they should take 'hard look' at Robert Griffin III - Rainer Sabin, SportsDay
In an interview with the DMN, the Moose let loose on RG Knee and Johnny Alcohol.

Robert Griffin III -- I would take a long, hard look at him. I think he has grown up. I have had the opportunity to do a ton of Redskins games this year and I spoke to Robert pregame every week, and all he wants is a fresh start and an opportunity to show. I don't know if this is where he wants to be. He wants to go out and show people he is a starting-caliber quarterback in the NFL. I don't know if you're going to be able to convince him to sit behind Tony for -- Jerry keeps making the comment -- three-to-five years, he feels Tony has good football left in him. I don't know if you can convince Robert to sit behind Tony for three to five years and be a serviceable backup.

And I just don't think it's the right fit for Johnny Manziel to be here.


Cowboys need pass rushers; Senior Bowl has two wild-card prospects - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
Jerry Jones says "close doesn’t count" after Dallas thought it addressed pass rush last year with Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory.

So pass rush remains among the top priorities to improve this off-season, and the Cowboys are getting a firsthand look at two talented rushers this week at the Senior Bowl.

Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence is arguably the best defensive prospect in Mobile, but he has off-field baggage. Spence started his career at Ohio State but was booted out of the Big Ten after multiple failed drug tests. He resurrected his career at Eastern Kentucky, compiling 22.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks last season, and must convince NFL teams his previous problems are a thing of the past.

Nassib is a guy who had never started a game (high school or college) until this season and wound up leading the nation in sacks with 15.5 and earning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors.


The decision-makers in the Cowboys draft room - Eric Williams, ESPN
ESPN takes a closer look at who will be making the calls for the top five picks in this year's NFL draft, and that obviously includes Jerry Jones. Todd Archer does the write-up on Jones, and uses it to explain the Cowboys' structure.

Ultimately Jerry Jones is the decision-maker but he is not a general manager under the traditional definition. The Cowboys use many voices to make their final decisions, with Jones as the face of the draft room. But executive vice president Stephen Jones, senior director of college and pro personnel Will McClay and head coach Jason Garrett have large says in how the board is set up. Despite the perception, Jones will listen to those he trusts in setting up the board, with the decision to pass on Johnny Manziel in favor of Zack Martin two years ago as proof. The most important person in the room is McClay since he is responsible for the scouting department.


Linehan doesn’t anticipate any major changes to jump-start Cowboys’ offense - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
In 2014, the Cowboys had one of the league’s best offenses, but offensive production dropped sharply last year.

Linehan isn’t going to overreact to the sharp decline in offensive production. After all, the 2014 numbers suggest they did something right.

"I don’t anticipate anything major [adjustment-wise]," Linehan said. "Obviously, we’re working to improve in some areas we fell short, so we’ll do that here in the upcoming months. We really have to get ourselves back to where we really started and where we were in training camp."

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