In Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ perfect world, Tony Romo will be the quarterback of the Cowboys for the next four to five years.
That hasn’t stopped Jones from thinking about what the team will do at quarterback once Romo is no longer in the picture, however. After watching his team’s 2015 season go down in flames with Romo sidelined after breaking his collarbone twice, Jones has also spent some time talking about the team adding better options behind Romo to their quarterback depth chart.
It’s a move that the Packers made in 2005 when they drafted Aaron Rodgers in the first round despite the presence of Brett Favre. Rodgers sat for three seasons before taking over after Favre moved on to the Jets and he’s thrived since ascending to the top job, something Jones wouldn’t mind copying in Dallas.
“If a player came in here and played behind him 3-4 years, he would come out with a Harvard degree in how to play quarterback, in my mind,” Jones said, via ESPN.com. “He would be that influential. And it would open up an area of how to play the game that we all would agree has a certain unique style to it, Romo. Just like, say, Favre did with Rodgers. That’s in my mind. That can be very impressionable and really be a big positive. So when I’m sitting there thinking about which way to go here, the ability to with Romo there and the ability to have a top talent learning behind that team and with Romo, it‘s a big asset.”
Romo sat for several years himself before getting bumped up in the middle of the 2006 season and there’s definitely something to be said for giving a young quarterback time to mature before they become a starter. It helped that Romo came to the team as an undrafted free agent without any pressure to play immediately, something that’s hard to mimic given how rare it is to see a quarterback follow that route to NFL success.
It’s also hard for a Cowboys team with other pressing needs now to use a premium pick for a player who won’t see the field unless something goes wrong so it will be interesting to see how the Cowboys try to set up that kind of succession plan — minus the rancor that accompanied Favre’s departure from Green Bay, we’d imagine — this year or in the coming offseasons.