IRVING – Much is being made of Dak Prescott being only the third QB drafted by the Cowboys since the early ’90s, and much is being made of the Mississippi State signal-caller being the “heir’’ to Tony Romo. Let’s unmake both of these memes, shall we?
By the numbers, it’s true about the drafting of QBs, and I’ve argued often that the Cowboys should be more like the Packers and take frequent stabs at unearthing quarterbacks in various rounds, simply because if you find gold in a QB in, say, in the fourth round, it’s so much more valuable than finding a guard or a safety there.
But there are some valid reasons for the “only three drafted in 20-plus years.’’ Those reasons include Troy Aikman and Romo.
Think about it: Once Dallas drafted Aikman in 1989 (and drafted another first-round QB in supplemental pick Steve Walsh), was it really illogical of them to not draft another one in ’93 or ’94? Same thing with most of the Romo Era; once the Cowboys felt secure in him as a young starter, there is logic in them opting to find weapons for him, rather than competition for him.
And then there is this: Aikman played in a different era in terms of cap management. Back then, Dallas somehow snapped its fingers and acquired the likes of Steve Beuerlein, Bernie Kosar and Wade Wilson — all established NFL starters elsewhere — to serve as Aikman’s caddie. And one more note about “not drafting a QB’’: Romo was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent. The Cowboys should get more credit for that, not less,,,for he was essentially an “eighth-round pick’’ in a seven-round draft.
Maybe it’s all been corrected now, Dallas having seen the error of its ways and the darkness at the end of the Romo tunnel, because after all, Prescott has already been deemed Romo’s “heir’’ by the Dallas newspaper, right?
“He’s not the ‘heir,’’ Wade Wilson tells me.
Yes, that’s the same Wade Wilson who once carried a clipboard behind Aikman and its now Dallas’ QB coach. “He’s a prospect. We like the way he carries himself. He can throw and run. Smart guy. We think he’s got a chance.’’
That’s Wilson’s scouting report on a kid he recommended Dallas select after nearly trading for picks to draft-acquire Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook earlier in the draft. The truth is, Prescott — who handled himself with aplomb in this weekend’s rookie minicamp at Valley Ranch — isn’t even second-string yet. That job belongs to Kellen Moore.
“This is something I dreamed about, running around the house acting like I was a Cowboys quarterback my whole life,” Prescott said. “For it all to come true, it’s such a blessing. Just being here with my family when Mr. Jones gave me that call and just the excitement throughout my family, which the majority of them are Cowboys fans, it was awesome.”
So perspective is important. Fortunately, Dak Prescott seems to have it. Now the rest of us need to acquire some.