Look, we all want the Cowboys to solve their issue at quarterback. This offseason has been and will continue to revolve around that very question. Whether the Cowboys decide to go out and sign a veteran, which they should, drafting a quarterback is the only thing that will suffice for some people. However, it's important to remember that it's not all about drafting a quarterback. It's about being right. The Dallas Cowboys must get their evaluations of the most important position correct, that is of the utmost importance.
There are three names that have become synonymous with being first-round talents. Those are, of course, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Paxton Lynch. In many folks' minds, it's a toss-up between how the three are going to rank. In fact, over the next several months, you will see this fluctuate multiple times. It's damn-near a popularity contest with a 'flavor of the week' vibe surrounding the whole draft process. Everyone has an opinion on who is the best and those change rapidly. What has been consistent thus far has been the notion that each of these quarterbacks has some developing to do. None of these prospects are Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, heck, they're not even Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota of 2015.
All three have the potential to be something great and become franchise quarterbacks in the NFL. For that to happen, they will all need to polish their skills and attributes. They will all need to find the right fit. This type of stuff happens every year in the NFL. You are not guaranteed a class of blue-chip performers at any position. It becomes sort of a cat and mouse game to determine the rightful ranking of these players. Every team's board is different, which is why I say that if there is a better player at four that is not a quarterback, take that player. Don't draft a quarterback for quarterback's sake.
As of this article, there is only one quarterback that seems to have all the intangibles to develop and is worthy of that fourth overall pick. I wrote about him last week.
Jared Goff (CBS 4th Overall Prospect)
Goff's position among these quarterbacks will vary several times throughout this process but he still looks the like the superior passer in his class. His toughness and mental capacity for the game is excellent. Goff is a product of his up-tempo offense at Cal, but almost all quarterbacks coming out have played in similar situations. What is impressive about Goff's film is his ability to put the 'touch' on his passes. Whether he's on the move or tossing it downfield, Goff has precision and is accurate. It's also intriguing to know that his offensive line could use a trip to Jiffy Lube, those boys be leaking, hard. Either way, Goff stands in the pocket and delivers the football with ease. He'll certainly have to work on his feet, but see my former comment on his protection. Goff is able to fit passes in tight windows, which is imperative at the NFL-level. It's clear by watching his tape that he's improved over his time at Cal. He's so precise and surgical that it's hard not to think it won't translate to NFL success. He has room for further improvement, but so does every other passer in this class.
If the Cowboys decide Goff is their guy, then happily take him at the fourth pick and start improving the current roster with the rest of your picks. The Cowboys cannot afford to just take a quarterback because they need to get one. If they find themselves in love with Wentz, then I would do everything in my power to stack more picks but stay ahead of the Rams and Texans. That may not mean you'll get him, but it's likely you might.
After the Senior Bowl, Mike Mayock was quoted as saying that if you have the opportunity to take a franchise quarterback, you have to. I agree with that sentiment, but I don't think that puts Wentz above Jalen Ramsey or Myles Jack on the draft board just because he's a quarterback. For the record, the North receivers didn't do Wentz any favors, but he certainly didn't look worthy of that high a pick. There are few folks that would agree with me, ask Dave Helman.
Sure, Wentz and Lynch both can be first-round talents, but neither of them are top 10 talents. When you're picking at four, you need to get a top 10 talent. If we're going with CBS, which I tend to trust, Goff is your only quarterback rated as a top 10 talent. Now, if this is to be true, we can possibly expect the Cleveland Browns to make a big play for Goff too.
The point of all of this goes back to the Cowboys being right. They just have to be right on their decision, no matter what it may be. It's one thing if the fans get upset because the Cowboys don't draft one of these three. It's entirely another if three years down the road, that player hasn't developed and now is considered a wasted pick. That simply cannot happen. It's not like these coaches have a history of developing passers anyhow. All of this trepidation is coming from a quarterback truther, folks.
However, the more you watch the tape and read scouting reports of all the top talents, you realize that this year's quarterback class may be more shallow than we think. The Cowboys have questions surrounding just about every aspect of their team. Rightfully so when you are coming off a 4-12 season. Yes, a healthy Tony Romo and Dez Bryant changes their fortune a bit, but they still need better players at a multitude of positions. Quarterback is one of those positions too, but they have to get their guy. Don't overdraft a passer because you're afraid he won't be around. Don't be like other aforementioned teams and take one just because he's one of the three available either. They can't be wrong on this because it will cost them dearly if they are. Quarterback is the most important position on the field and the opportunity to pick one this high may not come around for a long time. That being said, the Cowboys cannot afford to miss on this one. If they decide on a more impactful player in 2016, it will be because they aren't convinced. I, for one, wouldn't blame them if that were the case. What about you?