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Thursday, September 4, 2008
Who got the best of Quinn trade?

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
The Browns drafted Brady Quinn in 2007 with a draft pick acquired in a trade with the Cowboys.

BEREA, Ohio -- A year ago, the Dallas Cowboys thought they had a top 5 pick on their hands, courtesy of the Cleveland Browns.

Also a year ago, the Browns thought they had their franchise quarterback in first-rounder Brady Quinn, courtesy of the Cowboys.

Neither turned out as well as each team had anticipated.

So who got the better of the deal?

Dallas owner Jerry Jones and Cleveland general manager Phil Savage both agreed to a risky trade during the 2007 draft, shipping the Cowboys' first-rounder that year to the Browns for Cleveland's 2008 first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2007.

Jones was thinking of a running back from his alma mater in Arkansas: Darren McFadden. But the Browns thwarted those plans with a surprising 10-6 season, and Jones had to settle for another Razorback in Felix Jones with the No. 22 overall pick.

Savage was thinking he had the new face of his team in Brady Quinn. But quarterback Derek Anderson thwarted those plans with a surprising Pro Bowl season, and Quinn is holding a clipboard for the second consecutive year.

Quinn likely will start for someone soon. But whether it happens in Cleveland depends on how well Anderson performs in his second full season as a starter. Jones will not start in Dallas anytime soon because of tailback Marion Barber, but the rookie will at least receive playing time, starting with Sunday's game against the Browns.

We can also further tip the scales in Dallas' favor if you throw in the Cowboys trading Cleveland's second pick to a third party -- the Philadelphia Eagles -- to move into the first round and get linebacker Anthony Spencer, who is another backup.

Since both players see the field, the Cowboys are getting a little more in return right now. But we will reserve judgment until we see if Quinn turns out to be Cleveland's franchise quarterback down the road.