(Editor's Note: April is here, which means the first wave of free agency has passed and the NFL Draft is just around the corner. DallasCowboys.com's 11-part series analyzes every position on the Cowboys' roster at this point in the offseason: free-agent additions and subtractions, draft possibilities, returning players and question marks. The series begins with quarterback.)
Roster Holdovers: Well, there are two in particular. You know them well.
One, Dak Prescott, established himself last season as the franchise's present and future starter. The other, Tony Romo, remains under contract through 2019, though there's no shortage of speculation on whether the Cowboys will eventually part ways with the 10-year-starter-turned-backup who turns 37 in a couple of weeks.
"Nothing has changed on that status," team owner/general manager Jerry Jones said last week at NFL meetings in Phoenix. "We'll address that accordingly. I'll be meeting with Tony periodically over the next days and weeks ahead."
The Cowboys are keeping quiet publicly about possible options for a resolution. Speaking with local reporters last week, Jones declined to discuss hypotheticals such as: whether the Cowboys have engaged in trade talks with other NFL teams, whether Romo would be given permission to have trade discussions with other teams, whether Romo might renegotiate his contract to make a potential trade more palatable, or whether retirement is a possibility for the veteran quarterback amid published reports of broadcasting opportunities.
"I don't want to get into that," Jones said. "There is a kind of a menu of several alternatives that Tony has. In that sense, he has, as much as we look at this as an important time for Tony, he's got some great options."
The one thing that's certain? The Cowboys didn't release Romo when the new league year began March 9 and don't feel rushed to clear up his status with the team going forward.
Free Agency Overview:The Cowboys added a third quarterback in late March when they re-signed backup Kellen Moore to a one-year deal. Moore might have opened the 2016 season as the starter for an injured Romo if he hadn't broken his fibula early in training camp, opening the door for Prescott to move into the starting lineup as a rookie.
The Cowboys allowed veteran backup Mark Sanchez to leave in free agency; he signed a reported one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.
Draft Outlook: Strictly from a numbers standpoint on a 90-man roster, the Cowboys seem likely to add a young quarterback in time for training camp via the draft or post-draft rookie free agency. Prescott was the steal of the draft last season as a compensatory fourth-round choice. The Cowboys haven't drafted a quarterback in consecutive years since 1989-90. Prescott's rapid development could change that philosophy with another Day 3 pick, though team brass has said defensive help will be their primary focus.
Time To Shine: Simple – it's Prescott's time. He wowed the organization with his maturity and efficiency in his rookie season, and his 17 starts (plus playoffs) should only benefit him in Year Two.
"Every situation by definition was new to him last year and he handled it all really well," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said last week. "He'll be able to reflect on all of that and start again this year, and we hope to continue to make strides with him."