I would venture to say that just about everyone expects the Cowboys to take a quarterback at some point in the draft. With the lack of true effort in finding a veteran in free agency and the fact that nothing was too enticing anyhow, the draft just seems the perfect haven to pluck a passer. Dallas is content with keeping Kellen Moore as their veteran presence despite the laments of some Cowboys' fans. Even so, they can't possibly be content with their situation behind Tony Romo and what they do next will be telling.
Jerry Jones has often talked about regretting some of the moves he made in the past that hindered the search for a quarterback after Troy Aikman. The revolving door was more like a carousel at a carnival, the scouts and coaches were even giving baseball players a try. Anything to find that next passer. Of course, they eventually found a diamond in the rough in Tony Romo, but that is not the norm and it wouldn't surprise one bit if that never happens again. The quarterback position is ever so important that it practically dictates coach's job security these days. If a quarterback has any traits that resemble a franchise-caliber starter, he's going to get drafted early and it really doesn't matter if he's a third round pick or not. It's the ultimate premium position, so how would you like the Cowboys to address it?
Select Carson Wentz or Jared Goff at Fourth Overall
Wentz- He's considered the best quarterback available in terms of all the intangibles; size, arm strength, hand size, etc. Perhaps his best trait is that he came from a pro-style offense albeit an FCS school. He won two FCS Championships with North Dakota State and models his game in a sort-of Andrew Luck way. He's not near that comparison just yet because Luck was a slam-dunk talent.
There is also always going to be the concern of his competition in the FCS and how fast the NFL is in comparison. However, Wentz will impress the Cowboys in his ability to diagnose a defense and make smart decisions. He still needs work in his progressions but he can see the whole field and is an accurate passer. He also has some good mobility to make things happen when the play breaks down, something the Cowboys' incumbent is a master at.
Goff- There is not a better quarterback when it comes to the touch put on the ball. Goff at one point was considered the top quarterback in the class and in many ways he still can be. Goff showed that he can stand in the pocket, behind a terrible offensive line and make plays with a level of consistency that is unmatched. He's a little thinner than you would like and will need just a little more muscle tone, but Goff throws a pretty ball. Where Goff will truly impress the Dallas Cowboys is in his ability to lead with a calm demeanor like his hero and Cal folk hero, Aaron Rodgers.
Goff was even compared to him by Vance Bedford of the Longhorns and referred to as the best quarterback in college football. He also has a stoic-type of a look on the field and supreme confidence in himself. He knows what he is, he knows what he's not and he's improved significantly in each year as a starter. He's certainly ready for this and could become something big after he gets a better feel for the NFL.
Trade Back into Round 1 or Trade Back And Select Paxton Lynch
So, in this scenario, two things could happen. Some have speculated the Cowboys trading back up into the first round to get Lynch, as I even showed you what that could look like here. There is also the possibility of trading back in round one, picking up extra picks and picking Lynch before perhaps Los Angeles, surely Denver, or something similar. That may be the best way to do this as it would certainly net the Cowboys multiple picks and another second rounder for sure.
Lynch- The buzz around him is heating up as he most definitely has the superior arm talent of any passer in this class. He's big, mobile, and accurate which is what NFL teams will covet. The Cowboys may be smoke-screening everyone, but they seem to like him. Yet, they seem to like all the passers right now. Lynch was impressive at his Pro Day and it got the pundits heads-a-spinning once again. Lynch did come from Memphis so there will be some concern about his competition level as there is with Wentz, but Lynch has become the fan-favorite here at BTB as well.
He's shown that he can see the whole field and make the right throw with the right touch and put it in perfect position for his receiver. He can also take off and wreak havoc as a runner, though in the NFL, he'll need to learn to use that in opportunistic ways. Lynch certainly has the qualities that will intrigue the Cowboys and is widely considered the passer with the highest upside. If you can garner extra picks for the defense and get him closer to the middle of round one, it's a no-brainer.
Other notable quarterbacks to consider: Connor Cook (2nd Round) or Christian Hackenberg (2nd-3rd Round)
Pick For Impact With 4+34, Select Quarterback In Mid to Late Round
Dane Brugler was on Crunchtime with KD this week and he said something that I wholeheartedly agree with him on. It's fair, as previously mentioned, that any quarterback taken after the top 40-50 picks is likely a career backup. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule as we've seen with Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, and Tony Romo. However, more often than not, this sentiment is found to be true. If the Cowboys aren't looking for that heir-apparent to Romo just yet, this is the ultimate win-now move.
Dak Prescott- You might have to go get him in third but he may be around with the first fourth-round pick. He's another passer that the Cowboys have spent ample time with, possibly more time than any of the other quarterbacks, but who's truly sure? Prescott has tremendous leadership qualities and broke SEC records on his way to becoming the MVP of both the Senior and Liberty Bowls. He's also from a power five conference, we know that the Cowboys love drafting big school guys.
The one caveat with Prescott is that he's got two completely different comparisons, one to Wilson and the other to Tim Tebow. That's a big gray area of concern, though pro comparisons are not the be-all, end-all. Prescott has mobility and arm talent but doesn't have near the accuracy of the other three yet. However, Dallas likely sees a guy that is easily coachable and has most definitely improved in each year in the position. That can say a lot for a young passer.
Cardale Jones- He's a bit of an anomaly because he's a superbly gifted athlete with a really strong arm. In three starts in 2014, he led the Buckeyes to a Big 10 Championship, Sugar Bowl win, and National Championship. He's got those leadership qualities that the Cowboys will undoubtedly love. He's got some size to him and can make all the throws and perhaps has the best deep arm talent of any passer in this class. Jones still has so much work though in terms of getting on the same level as the guys listed before him. He's still very raw as a quarterback talent and will need a ton of development.
Dallas will like his mobility in the pocket and he certainly is aware as a passer, but his footwork is spotty and his accuracy lacks. He led the Buckeyes to a 7-0 record last season but the wheels were coming off for him as he threw seven touchdowns but also five interceptions. He would be benched in favor of J.T. Barrett after showing the same mistakes as the previous year and no true development to his game. He's an enigmatic player because the Cowboys will see all the potential, but the warts are pretty obvious too.
Other Notables: Jacoby Brissett (late 4th-6th Round), Kevin Hogan (6th Round), Brandon Allen (6th Round), Jeff Driskel (PFA)