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Fourth Pick Will Shape Cowboys Long-Term

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    AMES, IA Ð AUGUST 30: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the North Dakota State Bison throws under pressure from linebacker Kane Seeley #29 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the second half of play at Jack Trice Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Ames, Iowa. North Dakota State defeated Iowa State 34-14. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)

    It's not every year a team that was 12-4 and one frustrating call away from a possible NFC Championship Game berth gets the fourth overall pick in the draft just two years later.

    But that's where the Cowboys are as April's draft approaches and with the entire scouting team and coaching staff in Indianapolis this week for the NFL scouting combine.

    There's been a lot of speculation as to what the Cowboys will do with that fourth pick. There have been several names thrown around in several different mock drafts by several different "draft experts." But if the Cowboys even know what they're doing at this point, they surely aren't sharing it any time soon.

    There are two basic schools of thought surrounding the Cowboys and their fourth overall pick — take an impact player to help them win now in Tony Romo's quickly closing window, or take a future franchise quarterback to take over when said window closes and locks.

    At this point, I'm not sure there's a correct answer to that question, but whatever the Cowboys decide will shape their future — good or bad.

    If the Cowboys take a quarterback, whether it's Cal's Jared Goff or NDSU's Carson Wentz, they likely wouldn't be starting for another few years in an ideal world where Romo's body holds up until he's 38 or 39 years old. If one of those guys ends up being a "franchise quarterback", the Cowboys are set for the next 15 years. If they take one, and he doesn't end up as a cornerstone, they've set themselves back 15 years.

    it's a tricky situation without a clear-cut answer, but the Cowboys are going to sink or swim with whatever decision they make.