Developing a quarterback is a must

February, 16, 2013
2/16/13
3:04
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- The last quarterback the Cowboys tried to develop was Stephen McGee, who couldn't conform from a shotgun style to a traditional under the center formation.

There were other issues with McGee, arm strength and decision-making among them. However, the Cowboys' two main quarterbacks are Tony Romo and Kyle Orton. Nick Stephens, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound quarterback from Tarleton State, is on the futures roster. Stephens is more of a drop-back passer, and it's uncertain whether he'll be around in late July when training camp starts.

When the 2013 season starts, Romo will be 33 and most likely starting a three- to five-year contract. The future of the position is with Romo in the short term, but the big picture should have Cowboys fans and maybe to a larger extent the front office looking for a replacement for Romo in, say, 2015.

"You would like to have a young guy to try to bring along, certainly," quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson said.

However, the April draft class at quarterback is very weak. Wilson said he would like to see all the quarterbacks throw at next week's national scouting combine to help with their stock.

One of the bigger names who is expected to throw is USC's Matt Barkley, who is coming off a shoulder injury that ended his 2012 season.

If the Cowboys want to move forward at the quarterback position, drafting a quarterback, regardless of whether the class is weak, should be a priority.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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