The Cowboys kept two quarterbacks last season and are expected to keep only two on their 53-player roster this year. Jason Garrett said the Cowboys would love a developmental quarterback, but given their needs, a third quarterback is something of a luxury on the 53.
Nick Stephens and Alex Tanney could be competing for a spot on the practice squad.
"You have to make the best decisions for your team in terms of if that guy is on your 53 or if that guy is part of your 61, and you just have to sort out the rest of your roster," Garrett said Friday. "There are so many issues you have to address. I don’t want to describe it as a luxury. It’s not a luxury. It’s an important thing. But sometimes when it comes down to it if he’s not going to play for you right now and someone else is, it does get thrown into that luxury category a little bit. But we definitely would like to keep developing really young players at all positions but particularly at that one."
The Cowboys played three quarterbacks in 2010 when Tony Romo and backup Jon Kitna were injured. Stephen McGee started the final game of that season. McGee, a fourth-round pick in 2009, was on the roster for three seasons before the Cowboys decided he didn't have a future with them.
They have drafted only two quarterbacks since 1992. Quincy Carter was a second-round pick in 2001.
"I think that’s the challenge for all teams in the league is what’s the value of a young, developing quarterback in this salary-cap era that we’re in right now," Garrett said. "You have the opportunity to develop a guy for five years, and then he becomes your eventual starter. You get into these contract situations where you’re a developing a guy for somebody else. So you’ve got to be careful about what that value is that you place and if you draft him too high, you better get ready to play that guy relatively early in his career. I think that’s a tricky thing that everybody has to sort out and what works best for them. We value the position. We think it’s an important position. Oftentimes you can get a guy who is a free agent who you think you like just as much as a sixth- or seventh-round pick so maybe you’ll choose someone else instead."
-- Charean Williams