Over the next five weeks, FishDuck.com Feature Writer Caleb Couturie will be analyzing the 25 teams in the NFL Draft that may look to select Marcus Mariota.
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No 23: The Dallas Cowboys
DAL’s Draft Pick: Twenty-seventh
DAL’s 2015 Cap Space: $13,048,384
DAL’s Top Needs: LB, Pass Rusher, CB
This is where my readers will begin to think I’m crazy. Sure, other situations make sense because all of the most probable and high-drafting teams actually need QBs now or in the near future, but Dallas? Come on, Caleb has lost it. Jerry Jones and the rest of the Cowboys organization certainly love Tony Romo, as seen by their spirited campaign to earn Romo this year’s MVP, not to mention his lucrative contract. Dallas also finally made the playoffs again, carried by Romo’s arm and DeMarco Murray’s legs. Everything seems A-OK in Dallas, so why in the world would they want Mariota? Two words: Jerry Jones.
HOW IT CAN HAPPEN:
More Likely: Mariota would have to fall out of the first five picks. Realistically, the cost would probably just be too high for Dallas to trade up that far to draft a QB they won’t use for at least a year, more likely two. If Mariota drops out of the top five, the cost of acquiring him drops significantly. While the NY Jets would seriously consider taking Mariota with the sixth pick, new coach Todd Bowles is a defensive mind, and may lean toward beefing up in the trenches and grab a quarterback later in the draft. If this is the case, Bowles may be more than happy to let go of the sixth pick for Dallas’ first round this year and next year, along with a second rounder this year. That may be easier for Dallas GM Jones to stomach than the next scenario.
Less Likely: Dallas trades 2015 first- and second-round picks, as well as 2016 and 17 first-round picks to Tampa Bay for the No. 1 pick. Although Tampa would lose out on this year’s cream of the crop, they’d most likely have a shot at it again next year since they’d probably be as bad as they were this year, next year. Five first round picks through three years is nothing to scoff at, and for Dallas they can afford to lose the picks because of how talented the team already is.
Now this is where you’re probably thinking “But Caleb! They have Romo! And he’s only… oh. He’s 34…” Exactly. He’s 34 years old. He’s broken his back (twice, for those counting at home), and although he still looks good now there’s only so much physical torment a body can take. Especially one about to turn 35. There’s nothing better for a rookie than watching and learning. Game experience is always good, but throwing them in too early can destroy any possibility of creating a franchise player. If Mariota could Aaron Rodgers-Brett Favre it with Romo, it would only help to develop his talent and one day turn him into one of the elite NFL QBs.
A lot of people last year knew that Jones loved Johnny Manziel, and they were certain the owner/GM would take him in the first round. When Jones passed on him, it was clear to experts that Jones must really like Mariota. Jones understands that Romo is on his last legs, and eventually there will come a time when Romo can no longer suit up. Another serious back injury, and that time could come sooner rather than later.
HOW MARIOTA WOULD DO IN DAL:
Monay, monay, monayyyy. Jones is absolutely rolling in it, and it’s a well known fact he’d do anything to get the Cowboys back on top. He will waste no space in his checkbook if it means supplying Mariota with the weapons he needs to succeed. The team is already loaded with talent, and although Murray might leave in free agency, Jones recently admitted he’d be willing to franchise Dez Bryant. Walking into a situation with Bryant, backup RB Joseph Randle, and arguably the league’s best offensive line would be a hard offer to turn down for Mariota, if you ask me. The only point of concern is that Jones has a history of being kind of immoral, and that’s putting it nicely. Mariota is famously known for being incredibly humble and moral, so their personalities could clash. Other than that, though, Mariota should feel right at home in sunny Dallas, TX.
WOULD HE START?:
No. As mentioned before, Romo and Mariota would do a Favre-Rodgers mentoring type deal where Mariota could learn from one of the league’s best. Now that’s not to say Romo is anywhere near the player Favre was, but he still is very talented and could really help Mariota develop into a successful QB. In two years’ time, Romo could call his career quits and open the door for Mariota. Romo is locked up through 2019, but it’s hard to imagine he’ll make it that far with all the hits his body has taken over his career.
DAL’s Projected Record with Mariota: 10-6
DAL’s Projected Record W/O Mariota: 10-6
Mariota’s first year stats: 120 yards/2 pass TDS/1 INT/0 Rushing TDs
Top Photo by en.wikipedia.org