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Berry Tramel: It’s time for Dallas Cowboys to address quarterback future

BY BERRY TRAMEL Published: April 28, 2011
Matt Ryan 25. Josh Freeman 23. Jay Cutler turns 28 this week. Sam Bradford is 23. So is Matthew Stafford.

Only the Seahawks (Matt Hasselbeck, 35) and Saints (Drew Brees, 32) have quarterbacks older than Romo. Maybe Arizona or Minnesota will throw Donovan McNabb a life preserver, but either way, the Cowboys are in quarterback purgatory.

They have one of the NFC’s oldest QBs and not necessarily one of the best. With no viable plan for the future.

Jon Kitna was a good emergency starter last season after Romo’s collarbone injury. But Kitna turns 39 in September.

Why not start now in preparing for life without Romo? Why not draft a quarterback in a later round, when the price is not so high and when he might have a shot at being the best of the crop, no matter who he is.

Dallas’ 2003 signing of Romo as an undrafted free agent now appears particularly wise. For better or worse, Romo has solidified a position that cursed the Cowboys since Troy Aikman’s farewell. From midseason 2000, when Aikman suffered concussions that eventually forced retirement, through midseason 2006, when Bill Parcells promoted Romo to the job, Dallas used nine starting quarterbacks.

Nine quarterbacks in six seasons. Counting Aikman and Romo, that’s 11 in seven full seasons. And we wonder why the Cowboys played one playoff game between 1999 and 2006?

In the last 20 years, the Cowboys have drafted two quarterbacks.

Two. Quincy Carter in the second round of 2001 and Stephen McGee in the fourth round of 2009.

McGee was drafted as a lark. Drafted to be what he is, a third-team QB. Carter was an absolute mysterious pick but was much better than anyone thought. He made 34 starts over four years and was cut over a failed drug test.

In the NFL, teams have to be good at quarterback to be playoff competitive. The time is now to start thinking about life after Romo.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

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