Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Drafting QB might not be in the plans
By Calvin Watkins
MOBILE, Ala. -- Over the next couple of days, the Cowboys coaching staff will watch the following quarterbacks during Senior Bowl practices: Nick Foles, Ryan Lindley, Brandon Weeden, Kirk Cousins, Kellen Moore and Russell Wilson.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones watched Cousins, Moore and Wilson practice on Monday afternoon in a light drizzle. Wilson seemed to have a nice touch on fade routes, but along with Moore seemed a bit small behind the pocket. Wilson was measured at 5-10 1/4 and Moore came in at 5-11 3/4.
Moore and Cousins threw a nice ball with some zip on it and weren't afraid to challenge defenders.
Whether the Cowboys will draft a quarterback is uncertain.
"That really is probably a product of how that falls relative to the draft for us at that position," Jones said. "We certainly got other needs and we want to be sure if our board dictating where we evaluated them, on the other hand what you probably be more looking at is do you bring in a veteran quarterback from free agency or some type of trade or something like that. We got to get there quicker than drafting and training a quarterback right now. I got a faster time-frame than that in terms of our team and its competitiveness."
The Cowboys have just two quarterbacks signed for next year on their roster in Tony Romo and Stephen McGee. Jones doesn't seem to be in a hurry to draft a quarterback this year, as was the case last year. A stir was created when the Cowboys talked to Cam Newton at the combine.
Since 2000, the Cowboys have drafted just three quarterbacks, but signed several as undrafted free agents, including Romo.
The Cowboys won't have Jon Kitna as the backup anymore. He retired so finding the right fit for Jason Garrett's offense is important.
A number of veterans are expected to hit the market that could get interest from the Cowboys include: Brady Quinn, Dan Orlovsky, JP Losman, Chad Henne, Rex Grossman, Jake Delhomme and Jason Campbell. You might say where's Matt Flynn, but it's doubtful the Cowboys want him based on what type of salary he could command. Vince Young is too much of a head case and Donovan McNabb might not be a good fit from a system standpoint. David Garrard is another possibility and he should be 100 percent from his back issues in March.
"I think that's one of the things we'll have to see how that evolves," Jones said regarding the backup quarterback spot. "We like the progress of McGee, that you probably, if somebody has to really start taking snaps would like to see more experience, but Houston went pretty far with a third-team quarterback without a lot of experience so I do know it can happen. An inexperience one gets you pretty far down the road."