Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Bray

IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys draft is over but not forgotten, so there’s no time like now than to wonder about things that did and did not happen.

On to 5 Wonders:

** If the Cowboys are going to be a predominantly two-tight end team, like they say they are, then I wonder if they should have taken Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert at No. 18 and risked the chance that Travis Frederick would be there at No. 47. If they had gone that route, they would have had the best tight end and best center in the draft with their top two picks. The Cowboys had their eyes on Justin Pugh with the No. 31 pick, but he went to the New York Giants at No. 19. They felt Frederick was the final offensive lineman in the draft capable of being a Day 1 starter and did not want to risk losing him or waiting until the second round. That’s a draft for need, which is OK at that point, but Eifert will be somebody worth watching for the next few years.

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What's your overall grade for the Cowboys' draft?

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Discuss (Total votes: 26,955)

** I wonder if the Cowboys will alter how they will evaluate defensive lineman after what happened with Sharrif Floyd. He was among the top-10 players on their board, perhaps the highest rated defensive player, and he was staring them in the face with the 18th pick. And they passed on him. Then you hear about the kid’s arm length and lack of sacks. Well, those were things everybody knew before the draft. What it came down to was scheme fit and Floyd wasn’t deemed to fit in what the Cowboys wanted in 4-3 tackles. Had they stuck with the 3-4, then I can almost guarantee they would have selected him. If a player is not a scheme fit, then he just can’t be that high on their draft board.

** I wonder if Jerry Jones understands how even in points of praise he can also hurt. Take Tony Romo as an example. On Friday, Jones said Romo played a part in the selections of Gavin Escobar and Terrance Williams in the second and third rounds. Jones was attempting to show Romo was all-in. Well, what about the current players on the roster at those positions. Should they now think Romo didn’t like them as much? And then Jones said part of the quarterback’s new megadeal meant he had to spend “Peyton Manning time” at the facility. For those who questioned Romo’s commitment, that was all they needed to further their belief that Romo was not fully vested when Romo has always been a “football junkie.”

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**Over the last two years every team in the NFC East has looked at a quarterback-of-the-future/present in the draft. Washington did it last year with Robert Griffin III and also took Kirk Cousins. Philadelphia traded up for the top pick of the fourth round to take Matt Barkley a year after they took Nick Foles. The New York Giants grabbed Ryan Nassib in the fourth round. And the Cowboys chose to pass on the position. Again. Romo turned 33 recently. Kyle Orton is signed through 2014. I wonder if next year is the year the Cowboys look to the quarterback position. No, I do. Really. I had no problem with the club not taking a QB this year, but had Barkley, Nassib and Tyler Wilson dropped to them in the fourth round, I wonder if they would have pulled the trigger this year. Since they passed on Landry Jones, I think we know he wasn’t their guy. Is it too early to think about A.J. McCarron or Aaron Murray or any other QB? And, yes, I realize Johnny Manziel could be draft eligible. A quick aside: For those wondering why the Cowboys didn’t go after Tyler Bray, think about it. His coach, Derek Dooley, is on this staff now. Don’t you think the team would need to know all (stress all) there would be to know? And if the kid panned out at Tennessee, then Dooley would still be the Vols coach.

** I hope Marcus Lattimore turns into a great success. His story would be a terrific inspiration for everybody. But he wasn’t what the Cowboys needed. I wonder if people realize San Francisco was able to take a flier on Lattimore, who is coming back from a horrific knee injury, because it had so many picks. The Niners had the opportunity to offer up a redshirt year for Lattimore. The Cowboys, who entered the draft with six picks and added one through a trade with the Niners, didn’t. They needed a running back to help right now and they got Joseph Randle in the fifth round. If Lattimore becomes a star, then good for San Francisco but I would not use that as a knock on how the Cowboys ran their draft.
The Dallas Cowboys signed Tony Romo to a seven-year contract extension worth $119.5 million, giving the team security at the position for the next four to five years.

But does that mean the Cowboys won't draft a quarterback for the future? Or that the Cowboys won't draft a quarterback this year?

The Cowboys have drafted 28 quarterbacks in franchise history, producing two Hall of Famers -- Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. They have drafted two in the first round -- Craig Morton and Aikman -- and three total since Aikman retired in 2000.

One of the quarterbacks drafted since Aikman's retirement, Isaiah Stanback, was moved to wide receiver.

The Cowboys don't have an immediate need for a quarterback, but Romo will be 33 in Week 1 and backup Kyle Orton (30) is signed only through 2014.

The quarterback class is considered weak this year, but there are some intriguing names projected to go in the second and third rounds. Ryan Nassib, EJ Manuel, Tyler Wilson, Mike Glennon, Landry Jones and Tyler Bray are all projected to go in the middle rounds.

The perception is the Cowboys don't need a quarterback because they locked up Romo and have other areas of need (offensive and defensive line, safety and running back). But there's nothing wrong with adding to the position with young talent. Stephen McGee was a fourth-round pick in 2009 who was groomed to be a No. 2, but he never developed.

You could blame McGee or the coaching staff for the lack of progress.

Since 2000, NFL teams have drafted 14 quarterbacks in the fourth round, with the most notable names being Orton and David Garrard.

However, notable second-round selections since 2000 are Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, Kevin Kolb and Drew Brees. Brees has won a Super Bowl and Kaepernick played in one this year.

Quality quarterbacks can be found in the early portions of the draft and even the middle rounds -- Russell Wilson and Matt Schaub were third-round picks -- but making that commitment to the future is key for any NFL team.

While the Cowboys do have other needs, getting a quarterback this April could make just as strong a statement as giving Romo $55 million guaranteed.

Advanced scouting: Tyler Bray

April, 4, 2013
4/04/13
11:30
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Tyler BrayAP Photo/Wade PayneTyler Bray has an outstanding arm but would need time to develop as an NFL quarterback.
To help preview who might be on the Dallas Cowboys’ board for the NFL draft, ESPNDallas.com has identified five players at five key positions that we’d like to learn more about. Along those lines, we’ve asked former Cowboys assistant coach Glenn “Stretch” Smith – the official scout of Galloway & Company – to study tape of each player and give his thoughts.

No. 3 quarterback: Tyler Bray


Height/weight: 6-foot-6 1/8, 232 pounds

School: Tennessee

Why he’s on the radar: Bray, ranked as the No. 8 quarterback in this draft class by Scouts Inc., would be a project who could develop behind Tony Romo and Kyle Orton. He has prototypical size for an NFL pocket passer and possesses outstanding arm strength. He’s raw, however, and didn’t win enough at Tennessee (5-7 in his only full season as a starter). No team will have a better scouting report on Bray than the Cowboys, who hired Derek Dooley as receivers coach this offseason after he was fired as Tennessee’s head coach. Would Dooley recommend a quarterback he couldn’t win with in the SEC?

Projection: Third or fourth round

Stretch Truths: Has a big-time arm that can spin it from several different arm angles. … Adequate throwing on the move, but his footwork is poor at times in the pocket. … I question his football smarts and ability to read coverages. Throws too many balls into coverage. … If you take this kid, he needs to learn and develop as a backup.

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