By Jeff Cavanaugh | 105.3 The Fan
Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys looks for an open receiver against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first quarter during a preseason game at AT&T Stadium on August 24, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Is it time to find Romo’s replacement? (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON (105.3 THE FAN) — This is the year to draft Tony Romo’s eventual replacement as the Cowboys QB.

This isn’t a “get Romo out of town” blog. I’m a Romo fan. He’s got at least 2-3 years left at the helm of the team.

This is just an observation of an interesting NFL landscape at this very moment, and why the perfect storm is forming for the Cowboys to finally go into a draft and get a quality guy to eventually take over for Romo.

There are a couple of nice coincidences that combine this year to make it the right time.

First, a potentially great QB class coming out of college football. Here is a look at top 10 QB prospects for this years draft.

1 – Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville
2 – Marcus Mariota – ORE
3 – Brett Hundley – UCLA
4 – Tajh Boyd – Clemson
5 – Johnny Manziel – A&M
6 – Zach Mettenberger – LSU
7 – Derek Carr – Fresno State
8 – Aaron Murray – Georgia
9 – Stephen Morris – Miami
10 – AJ McCarron – Alabama

The top five of these guys our dot com colleagues have with a first round projection on. You can pick and choose through the list of them and who you like and don’t like, but I think there’s a chance for all 10 of these guys to have a chance to be decent-to-good NFL starters — at the least if they’re put in a good situation. That’s a big number for a QB class.

Now for the 2nd factor.

There aren’t a lot of NFL teams in the QB market right now. I did a run down of every NFL team and who I think is/isn’t in the market for a QB. First, the very long list (in division order) of teams that I don’t think are in the market:

New England – Brady/young Ryan Mallet behind him
Miami – Ryan Tannehill
Jets – Geno Smith
Bills – JUST drafted EJ Manuel

Ravens – Joe Flacco
Bengals – Andy Dalton
Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger

Colts – Andrew Luck

Broncos – Peyton Manning/young Brock Osweiler behind him.
Chiefs – Alex Smith
Chargers – Phillip Rivers

Eagles – Michael Vick. Two young guys behind him in Barkley and Foles.
Skins – RG III and Kirk Cousins.
Giants – Eli Manning

Lions – Matt Stafford
Bears – Jay Cutler
Packers – Aaron Rodgers

Saints – Drew Brees
Panthers – Cam Newton
Falcons – Matt Ryan

Seahawks – Russell Wilson
49ers – Collin Kaepernick
Rams – Sam Bradford

Maybe some of these teams (Saints, Giants, Chargers) are in a similar boat to the Cowboys where they’re thinking about who their next guy will be, but not so much that they’re going to use a high draft pick in the QB department.

Next category is the teams that are in the “Maybe” department:

Raiders – Pryor is an unknown, but tons of other needs including trying to get their QB WR’s. Streater and Jacoby Ford as your top 2 guys? Yikes.

Titans – Not sure exactly how they feel about Locker/Fitzpatrick

Texans – Schaub is hated right now. BUT if they fall out of love with him, betcha one of the QB needy teams trades for him and takes that team out of the running for draft QB’s.

Vikings – Ponder, newly acquired Josh Freeman so probably going to try that out.

Browns – Weeden/Hoyer. I would assume they’d be willing to top one of the top QB’s, but they’re on a roll and maybe they end up liking one of those guys.

Which leaves us with the teams I think are ABSOLUTELY in the market to draft a QB:

Cardinals – Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton behind him. I’d say in the market for QB.

Jaguars – Blaine Gabbert is horrendous. In the market for QB.

Buccaneers – Mike Glennon and Dan Orlovski, absolutely in the market.

The Cardinals might even like Carson more than I think, then there’d only be two teams in this department.

Now the question: Jeff, what’s the point here you idiot?

Glad you asked. NFL teams being pretty set at QB, plus a fantastic crop of QB’s in the draft equals a wonderful thing for a team that wants to groom a guy but also doesn’t want to spend a high draft pick on that guy. The slider. The NFL draft has guys every year that are good enough to be picked way before they are, but because of positional strengths on all the different teams, someone still has to take you.

I listed 10 guys coming out of college that could be the next guy for the Cowboys in the right conditions, but how many are really going to go in the first round? Different people have anywhere from 5-8 of these guys with first round grades, but there’s zero chance that many teams are going to select a QB when their teams turn comes up.

It’s a perfect storm, and it’s time for Jerry to draft himself the next QB of the Cowboys.

You can hear Jeff on the G-Bag Nation, weekdays from 10a-2p on 105.3 The Fan.

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