Add ESPN’s Trent Dilfer to the growing chorus that believe now is the time for the Dallas Cowboys to invest in a quarterback of the future. The best possible scenario for the Cowboys, from where Dilfer is sitting anyway, involves them spending a premium draft pick on a quarterback this year, then having that QB of the future sit behind and learn from Tony Romo (ideally) for a couple of seasons.
“I think that Tony is going to be their quarterback for the next two years and hopefully he stays healthy. I am a big Tony Romo fan, always have been,” Dilfer told the Dallas Morning News. “But you have to be pragmatic about it if you're Jerry and Stephen Jones and say, 'OK, let's hope we get Tony for three, four more years, if that's if Tony stays healthy. But we have a chance because we're going to have a pretty high draft pick and there are four quarterbacks most likely in this draft that are first-round type talents that could become, if developed, franchise guys. Now's the year.’
“This is the year that you draft one of these guys—[California’s Jared] Goff, [Michigan State's Connor] Cook, [Memphis' Paxton] Lynch, or [Penn State's Christian] Hackenberg. You take him, and you use the Aaron Rodgers model. We hope this guy doesn't play for a couple of years. You don't have to pay him incredible money with the new rookie salary situation. And hopefully Tony wins you a Super Bowl while this guy gets to sit and watch one of the greats of the game operate, prepare and play. And then he will be that much better when he takes over.
“If Tony doesn't stay healthy, you have a super-talented kid there that could maybe have a Jameis Winston-type rookie year or second-year campaign. And maybe you get a guy who is going to be the face of your franchise for the next 10 years. I don't think if you're them you can pass up on this opportunity if you like one of these four guys, which I'm sure they will.”
Of course, Jerry Jones and the Cowboys have been very optimistic about Romo’s future publicly, to the point that you’re forced to wonder if some level of hopeful delusion isn’t at play. Jones himself got heated just last week when he was pressed on his prediction that the 35-year-old Romo had four or five good years left.