Before the draft, Bears General Manager Phil Emery said he is not a fan of taking a quarterback in the late rounds because they rarely develop into players that help their teams.
The Bears then wound up taking David Fales in the sixth round last weekend, which addressed a need for depth behind Jay Cutler even if it was a bit curious based on what Emery had to say about late-round quarterbacks. With Kyle Orton’s future uncertain, the Cowboys also had a need for some depth but they didn’t waver from what coach Jason Garrett described as the organization’s own aversion to picking up quarterbacks late in the draft.
“The thing you’re concerned about is developing them for somebody else. You develop them for two, three, four years and he goes and plays for another football team,” Garrett said, via ESPN.com. “We don’t think that’s a worthwhile thing. There’s been a theory around the league, teams like Green Bay for years always took a guy late and if that player develops into something that was a good thing for their team or to trade to somebody else. There were some examples of them doing that. It’s a philosophy a lot of teams, they agree with that. But when you have other issues on your team I think it becomes a little bit of a luxury to do that. When you feel good about your starter and you feel good about your backups, we feel it’s better to take a position player, a guy we know can contribute on special teams, instead of trying to develop that guy.”
The philosophy predates Garrett, who made it to the NFL after going undrafted as did Cowboys starter Tony Romo. The Cowboys have drafted just five quarterbacks in the regular or supplemental draft since 1989 with Troy Aikman, Steve Walsh and Quincy Carter all costing the teams picks in the first two rounds. That leaves Brandon Weeden as the team’s closest thing to a developmental quarterback and will keep the door open for Romo’s possible successor through at least the 2015 draft.