Brandon Weeden will be drafted this week later than he would have been had savvy pro scouts not discovered that Weeden was born in 1983 and is older than Ryan Braun, Kendrick Perkins and D'Juan Woods.
Weeden is 28 years old and yet to join an NFL team, which drops him down the draft list and lands him in mighty good company. Roger Staubach was 27 before he joined the men who wear the star.
In 1964, the Dallas Cowboys used a 10th-round draft pick to take Staubach, a Heisman Trophy winner who faced a five-year commitment with the U.S. Navy, for whose academy he starred as a collegian.
That pick actually was the 129th overall, so it would be late fourth round these days. And it turned out OK for the Cowboys, provided you're fine with two Super Bowl titles, 11 playoff victories and a Hall of Fame career, which Staubach delivered even though he had made just four NFL starts by age 29.
Can Weeden take comfort in knowing Staubach's path?
Yes, says the only man with direct links to both. Gil Brandt was the Cowboys' vice president of player personnel from their birth in 1960 through Jerry Jones' purchase of the franchise in 1989. Brandt was the primary talent scout and formed the trinity with Tex Schramm and Tom Landry.
Now Brandt is a draft analyst for nfl.com and has interviewed Weeden. Even tried to talk Weeden into attending the draft festivities in New York this week.
And Brandt is a big Weeden fan.
“I think the guy's a good prospect,” Brandt told me the other day. “I told Weeden he'd be drafted between 24 and 40 and make somebody a pretty darn good quarterback.
“Twenty-eight years old doesn't worry me. I think he's a good football player. More so, he's a high-quality individual, which is an indicator of success.”
Speaking of which, Staubach passed that test. He was 22 when the Cowboys drafted him in the wake of a Heisman season, knowing the Navy had first dibs.
Staubach would be 27 before he could take a Dallas snap.
The five-year layoff, more than the age, worried Brandt.