The Cowboys' complex QB issue

February, 10, 2014
Feb 10
5:50
PM ET
In the last three months, the Cowboys worked out quarterbacks Mike Kafka, David Carr, Tyler Thigpen, John Skelton, Richard Bartel and Caleb Hanie. The Cowboys signed a man they didn't workout in 41-year old Jon Kitna last year because of his familiarly with the offense.

Starting quarterback Tony Romo is recovering from back surgery and while the team expects him to participate in the offseason programs that start April 21, there are no guarantees he will.

[+] EnlargeTony Romo, Kyle Orton
AP Photo/Greg TrottWith Tony Romo's health issues, the Cowboys will need more than just Kyle Orton as a backup quarterback.
As it stands now, the Cowboys have Kyle Orton and Romo on the roster. The Cowboys most likely will have three or maybe four quarterbacks on the roster when it expands to get ready for training camp this summer.

But why has it taken so long to get a quarterback signed?

Orton enters the final year of his contract after proving his worth to the team when he played well for the injured Romo in the regular-season finale, a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

If Romo's health doesn't improve fast enough, it becomes important that the team has a third quarterback. With so many holes on this team, as well as depth issues, it's understandable if the Cowboys are slow in finding a quarterback.

Unless the team signs a Vince Young or a Tim Tebow (which isn't happening), getting a quality No. 2 or No. 3 quarterback should be at the forefront of what's happening at Valley Ranch.

Now maybe the Cowboys don't like what they're seeing in these workouts. Kafka worked out last week and wasn't signed, instead he's going with Tampa Bay.

The Cowboys have two former quarterbacks on the coaching staff in head coach Jason Garrett and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, who understand what it takes to play well at the position. The Cowboys' offense isn't designed for a mobile quarterback, Romo's ability to avoid the pass rush is an added benefit.

Orton isn't a mobile quarterback but does quite well in the timing-based offense.

What the Cowboys are looking at are drop back passers who have the ability to move around in the pocket if things break down. Not signing one now, doesn't mean it's the end of the world, but after working out six quarterbacks in a three-month span, it makes you wonder what the Cowboys are looking for.

You could say, the draft is where the Cowboys will find the No. 3 quarterback. But you can't depend that Jerry Jones, the general manager, will make that pick given the other issues with the roster. If the Cowboys do draft a quarterback in the middle rounds, and team officials have shot down any first-round pick being used on a quarterback, he could be the future replacement for Romo.

As the offseason progresses, the Cowboys decisions regarding the quarterback position continue to drag on.
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.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


NFC EAST SCOREBOARD