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Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys Getting Ready To Draft Tony Romo's Successor

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Latest Cowboys headlines: How serious is Tony Romo's injury situation really? In which round will Cowboys pick a running back? Is Dallas still a prime-time destination for free agents?

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NFL Network's Mike Mayock thinks Dallas should draft Wentz or Goff at No. 4 to 'protect the future of the franchise' - SportsDay Staff
During NFL Network's coverage of the NFL combine, Mike Mayock discussed what he thinks the Cowboys should do in the draft.

I look at Dallas at No. 4, and I think they have to be evaluating Carson Wentz and (Jared) Goff if you have a 36-year-old quarterback who hasn't finished a season in three years. You're not going to be drafting No. 4 again in foreseeable future. If you like one of those guys, and have the opportunity to draft him, I think you take him...

...I've got Tony Romo for another year or two, and I'd love to develop a young guy. If I could get a Carson Wentz at No. 4, and give that kid a year or two, to me, that's how you protect the future of the franchise.

Carson Wentz is early favorite to be top QB picked in NFL draft - Tom Pelissero, USA Today
Apparently, Carson Wentz's physical traits may give him an edge over Jared Goff.

"I knew once (Wentz) got around the coaches and stuff, they’d eat him up," one veteran scout told USA TODAY Sports, speaking on condition of anonymity for competitive reasons. "This guy’s unique. He’s just different. And obviously, he’s 6-5, 230, and can spin it like a mother."

One GM said Wentz’s edge comes down to the physical traits: bigger and sturdier build, 10-inch hands, exceptional athletic ability for his size. Unlike Goff, Wentz has played a lot from under center. A personnel director said Wentz is the better interview, too. It’s hard to poke a hole in him.

2016 QB crop down to big three - Hub Arkush, Pro Football Weekly
Arkush writes that Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, and Paxton Lynch look like sure first-rounders, but also offers some sobering stats about drafting QBs:

Over the past seven seasons there have been 34 quarterbacks drafted out of the top 100. 13 of them are starters in the league today, you can pick a 14th between Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert for the 49ers.

My guess is that if QB-starved clubs like Cleveland, Dallas, San Francisco, Philadelphia, L.A. Rams or the N.Y. Jets are looking at this right now, they may have all just gotten severely depressed.

Dallas Cowboys: Quarterback Paxton Lynch set to meet with the Cowboys on Friday night - Jon Machota, SportsDay
The search for Tony Romo's successor continues as the Cowboys had a formal interview with Paxton Lynch last night.

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday on NFL Network that the Cowboys planned to sit down with five or six quarterback prospects while in Indianapolis. North Dakota State's Carson Wentz will not be in that group. Garrett said it wasn't necessary after spending a week with Wentz at the Senior Bowl.

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Doubting Tony Romo's Future - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
Sturm is ready to pound the alarm on Romo's health. And while Sturm goes out of his way to explain that he's only speculating, the vacuum created by the lack of information on Romo's situation is conducive for this type of speculation. It may be alarmist, but for a franchise that notoriously doesn't communicate well on the injury of its players, perhaps a little alarmism is warranted.

"Here it is: I don't think Romo's situation can be classified as a QB with "injury issues" anymore. Rather, I would suggest that Romo's collarbone situation would have to be called a "ticking time bomb." I think his future is week to week, not year to year. No longer a question of "if", but rather a matter of "when". I think that his collarbone has obviously not mended like they had first hoped and so here we sit - 159 days since Jordan Hicks broke it in September and 92 days since Thomas Davis got him again on Thanksgiving Day - without any further resolution that he is as good as new and ready to play. I might remind you that the Cowboys resisted the obvious plans of putting him on injured reserve because they originally assumed he would be available for the NFC Championship Game which was played on January 24th. 33 days ago.

So, I don't believe his collarbone has mended properly since Thankgsiving. And I sure don't believe it healed like they thought it would from September - as evidenced best that he broke it again on a rather normal-looking hit on Thankgsiving Day. I am far from a medical expert, but I can read a calendar. When they talk about this 8-10 weeks business and we sit here at the end of February and discuss further procedures, but still under the banner of "everything is fine and there is no reason for alarm", I am tempted to sound the sirens. I am not buying it anymore. This Mumford procedure that discusses shaving off part of the clavicle seems like a very odd way to strengthen a collarbone. I am positive I am showing my medical ignorance, but I also am assuming that most people having that procedure are not having 300 lb linemen like Fletcher Cox or Johnathan Hankins trying to slam them right on their collarbone at their first chance in an effort to remove the Cowboys biggest and most indispensible weapon from the proceedings.

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Cowboys need to draft a running back, but where can they? - Rick Gosselin, SportsDay
Gosselin explains why it doesn't make sense for the Cowboys to pick a running back before the third round, and offers a few names to consider in the third.

With the fourth overall pick of this draft, I doubt the Cowboys go running back. That’s too high for the top two backs on the board, Ezekiel Elliott of Ohio State and Derrick Henry of Alabama. Both figure to be gone by the time the Cowboys go back on the clock at the top of the second round at 34. Unless Henry slides into the second, I doubt the Cowboys go running back there, either. Too many other needs on a defense that can’t sack the quarterback or create any turnovers.

That leaves the third round. That’s where the Cowboys found Murray in 2011. That’s also where the Cardinals found David Johnson a year ago. He finished among the NFL touchdown leaders as a rookie with 12. The Cowboys might find an Alex Collins of Arkansas in the third round this April. Or Jordan Howard of Indiana. Or Kenneth Dixon of Louisiana Tech. Or Devontae Booker of Utah.

Cowboys interview running backs from Texas Tech, Notre Dame at NFL combine - SportsDay Staff
Notre Dame's C.J. Prosise and Texas Tech's DeAndre Washington had informal meetings with the Cowboys in Indianapolis.

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Visits Tracked by Team - Walter Football.com
This site keeps a running tally of prospects each team has met with. Here are the prospects the Cowboys have met with according to this list:

Andrew Billings, DT/NT, Baylor
DeForest Buckner, DE/3-4DE, Oregon
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
Noah Spence, OLB/DE/3-4OLB, Eastern Kentucky
Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OT, TCU

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NFL teams on high alert for Johnny Manziel types at combine - Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com
The ghost of Johnny Manziel is everywhere at the Combine, where teams are wary of falling in love with a prospect and turning a blind eye to a prospect's issues.

"This is the Johnny Manziel combine," an NFL executive told BleacherReport.com's Mike Freeman. "The Browns weren't the only ones fooled by Manziel during the interview process here [in 2014]. We spent time with him, and we completely misjudged him. He charmed us."

It's easy for struggling teams to fall in love with a player, particularly one with Manziel's on-field dynamism to go along with a surprising off-field charisma. But a lot of times teams are blinded by the infatuation, mistaking needs and wants, and it usually ends badly.

Goff, Wentz lead 2016 NFL Draft's safest picks among QBs - Chad Reuter, NFL.com
As outlined above, teams are looking for the "safe picks," and Reuter explains that Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Brandon Allen are the safest QBs to pick. Here's his take on Allen.

I'm not projecting Allen to be a top-five pro quarterback, but he's grown enough as a passer and leader during his time in Arkansas to make himself a solid bet to stick on an NFL roster for a long time. Allen can stand in the pocket to deliver passes downfield, as well as roll outside to test defenses with his arm and feet. Sounds like a very solid backup with starting potential to me.

Massage therapy helps NFL Draft hopeful add to his hand size - Bruce Feldman, FOX Sports
When you think you've heard it all, along comes something like this:

Last month, former Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen's hands were measured at the Senior Bowl at 8 1/2 inches — the smallest of all the QBs there. Earlier in the week, Allen revealed to FOX Sports that he had been doing regular massage sessions with a therapist who claimed he could boost the measurement in preparation of the NFL Combine and Allen's Pro Day. On Thursday, Allen's hands were measured at the combine at 8 7/8 inches.

"The therapist thinks we can get it to nine-plus," Allen said. "That's what I'm shooting for by pro day. I'm going to keep on doing it."

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Dallas is still a prime-time destination for free agents - Babe Laufenberg, SportsDay
In response to a reader question, Laufenberg ruminates on the Cowboys' attractiveness for free agents.

Matt Forte, the Chicago RB who will be a free agent, said he wants to go somewhere where he has a chance for a ring. I would not be the least bit surprised to see him land in New England. They would certainly take advantage of his unique skill set. The Cowboys, coming off a 4-12 season and having not participated in even an NFC Championship Game in 20 years, do not fit that bill. But I am not sure that there is a more glamorous team to play for in the NFL than the Cowboys. So yes, Dallas is still a prime-time destination.

Washington Redskins talk Robert Griffin trade - John Keim, ESPN
ESPN reports that the Redskins have been in talks with at least two teams about a trade involving Griffin. The article also explains what would have to happen for such a trade to take place, given that Griffin would be due $16.15 million in 2016 if he's not released by March 9.

Griffin would have to agree to a new contract with any team that trades for him, so the former Heisman Trophy winner figures to have some influence on where he would be traded.

Report: Eagles To Listen To DeMarco Murray Trade Offers - Josh Clark, CBS DFW
DeMarco Murray apparently still wants out of Philadelphia. But the five-year, $40 million contract Murray signed last year calls for him to make a $7 million base salary this season, and trading Murray would hit the Eagles cap with $13 million of dead money. The idea of finding a trade partner is just a lot of wishful thinking by the Eagles - unless Murray agrees to a new contract with another team.