Jerry Jones: Drafting Romo's Eventual Successor Not A High Priority This Year

IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys believe their roster is in good enough shape that they won't have to reach for any position player in this week's NFL Draft.

That includes possibly finding Tony Romo's eventual successor at quarterback.

"Certainly not a high enough priority to make a bad decision or a forced decision," Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said at Monday's pre-draft press conference at Valley Ranch.

Romo turned 36 last week. He missed 12 games last year with two separate collarbone injuries. But Jones has said many times he believes Romo can play several more years. And the team feels "very good" about Romo's health following March collarbone surgery to help strengthen the shoulder area and reduce the chance of re-injury.

The draft-a-quarterback debate has dominated Cowboys-related headlines throughout the offseason. But it isn't a certainty, Jones says. Not this year.

One reason, if indeed Romo plays several more years, is the team could be drafting and developing a player that wouldn't get any significant on-field snaps – and therefore, no significant on-field evaluation – by the time his rookie contract expires.

"And you have a multi-million dollar decision to make and you really haven't seen him under fire," Jones hypothesized. "That could happen. That decision might deal you an awkward place 36 months down the road."

Jones didn't rule out drafting a quarterback this week. The Cowboys wisely will leave their options open.

But they also must weigh the pros and cons of drafting a developmental player versus a player at another position who could help Romo, who's about to enter his 14th season, and the rest of the team win in 2016.

Kellen Moore is currently the only backup on the roster with regular-season experience, though it's certainly possible the Cowboys will look to sign another veteran for depth through free agency before training camp.

And it's possible the team will draft a quarterback for the first time since 2009. Head coach Jason Garrett said the talent is deep in this year's class.

"I think it's pretty good," he said. "There are some guys at the top of the draft who are certainly intriguing. But I think what's interesting to me about this is that there are guys throughout the draft who are intriguing. I think you could conceivably take a quality quarterback in each of the rounds and at all different levels of the draft I think you're intrigued and interested in the prospects."

Whether one becomes a Cowboy by the end of the weekend remains to be seen.

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