By: Josh Clark
DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) – The clock is ticking for the Dallas Cowboys. The NFL Draft is nine days away and everyone is wondering what they’re going to do with the number four overall pick.
Cowboys COO Stephen Jones talked about the team’s plans with the GBAG Nation on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday morning. During the conversation, Jones was quick to mention the team’s pass rushing needs.
“You try to work in free agency to really get your team to where you don’t have an obvious need. At the end of the day, our defensive front is still a position that we keep our eye on in terms of always trying to get better there, and ultimately find a dominant type of pass rusher.”
But what about the quarterback position? Tony Romo will be 36 in two days and he’s coming off surgery on his clavicle. Dallas currently has Kellen Moore as Romo’s backup, but is he a better solution than Matt Cassel or Brandon Weeden?
Dallas has a few holes to fill in this draft and may not be able to take a player at number four that will be watching Romo from the sidelines for the next few seasons. That could then turn the Cowboys attention to the later rounds of the draft and free agency to bolster their quarterback depth chart.
“We continue to think about our backup quarterback position behind Tony (Romo). Based on the obvious which is what happened to us last year, you know for whatever reason he’s not able to stay healthy then we have a better solution than what happened to us last year,” said Jones. “It still doesn’t mean we wont end up with another veteran quarterback in camp before this is all said and done. We’re obviously doing a lot of diligence in terms of the quarterbacks in the draft. Other than first round, we see some quarterbacks that we do like and think could develop into something that ultimately could be better than how we played last year.”
Last season, the lead back in the Dallas backfield wasn’t the starter out of training camp. Darren McFadden took over starting back duties after Joseph Randle was released. McFadden complied nearly 1,100 yards, but the team still felt that they needed another veteran back, so they added former Washington Redskin Alfred Morris. Dallas will also welcome back Lance Dunbar, but he’s coming off of a torn ACL and MCL.
Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott is a name that would immediately turn most team’s running back situations into a position of strength. But is a running back worthy of top five selection to the Cowboys?
“I think a guy could be good enough to warrant something like that,” Jones said. “You don’t have to look far to an Adrian Peterson or if (Todd) Gurley would have been healthy last year coming out…He was obviously one that could warrant that type of grade, so there’s backs that can certainly warrant being up there in our mind to have the value to be picked that high.”
Dallas also has the option to trade up or back in the draft. They could feel like they can get a player they like later on in the first round, or they could possibly try and move up to snag a quarterback.
Jones says teams are “not really” calling the Cowboys right now to move up to number four, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything yet. “A lot of it will depend on who gets picked as we move through the draft. Who knows if it’s going to be in high demand or (someone) will try and steal it from you, for not what you should be getting for it. So those are all things that we’ll be taking a long hard look at and deciding if we want to stay where we are or move down…We still haven’t ruled out that we’d move up if we felt like we should. Right now I’d say all options are on the table.”
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