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NFL Dallas Cowboys

2014 NFL Draft: 5 Potential Successors for Tony Romo

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Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not a secret; the Dallas Cowboys have aging core.

Before the start of the 2014 NFL season, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, tight end Jason Witten and defensive end DeMarcus Ware will all be well into their 30s. In the cases of Ware and Romo, it’s not just their age that is a concern, but also their health.

Romo is entering his 11th year in the NFL, and for the first time during his tenure as the leader of the Cowboys offense, I am truly concerned about his health. Let’s not forget that in 2013, Romo had two surgical procedures on his back, the second ended his season in Week 16.

Bottom-line is that Romo’s days as the Cowboys’ signal caller are numbered, whether the surgically repaired herniated disk in his back becomes a long-term concern or not, and we are all well aware that Kyle Orton is not the future in Dallas. So, I ask you, is it not time for the Cowboys to start grooming, or at the very least, start looking for Romo’s successor?

In February, a coin flip with the Baltimore Ravens will decide whether the Cowboys will have the No. 16 or No. 17 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft. It may seem unlikely that the Cowboys would select a quarterback in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, given the glaring holes on the defensive front and the uncertainty of head coach Jason Garrett’s job, but general manager Jerry Jones has done sillier things with his draft picks.

So, lets take a look at the top-5 college quarterbacks that could ultimately be Romo’s successor in Dallas in no particular order.

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Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Manziel will enter the Draft after reports surfaced that he chose Houston-based Select Sports Group to be his contract agency and LRMR to handle his marketing. He has been projected to go as high as a top-10 pick and as low as a late second, early third round pick. Tim Cowlishaw of DallasNews.com says Maziel and the Cowboys are a match made in heaven.

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Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville

Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-3, 218-pound quarterback is regarded as the best quarterback in this draft. He’s currently being projected as a top-10 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, so chances are that he’ll be long gone before the Cowboys pick.

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Blake Bortles, QB Central Florida

Blake Bortles, QB Central Florida
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound junior has decided to forgo his senior season to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL. WalterFootball.com says that sources told them that Bortles is grading out as a late first or early second rounder.

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Tajh Boyd, QB Clemson

Tajh Boyd, QB Clemson
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Boyd ended his collegiate career by putting on a show at the Orange Bowl, where he threw for 378 yards and five touchdowns and added 127 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The knock on him is his height and some scouts have concerns about his accuracy despite connecting for 68 percent of his passes. He is projected to be a mid-first to early-second round pick.

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Derek Carr, QB Fresno State

Derek Carr, QB Fresno State
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,866 yards, 48 touchdowns and seven interceptions and is projected as a first round pick. Carr is probably the most developed passer in this draft class. The knock on him is that he isn’t playing the toughest opponents.