Newton not a fit for Dallas, but Tony Romo’s window closing

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    On April 28, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the selections of the 2011 NFL Draft.

    When the Dallas Cowboys come up to the draft board with the ninth overall selection, Goodell will announce that Dallas has selected…Cam Newton?

    The Cowboys have at least entertained the idea. Dallas made waves over the NFL Combine by interviewing the Heisman winner out of Auburn. While Newton may have been only one out of 60 players Dallas interviewed, the fact that the Cowboys explored an option for a quarterback means that something may be lurking in the future.

    At first glance, the concept seems completely absurd.

    Current starting quarterback Tony Romo will be back for the 2011 season after a fractured left clavicle derailed his season before Halloween in 2010. With a batch of new faces on the coaching staff (and hopefully some fresh faces on the offensive line), Romo should be significantly improved this season. There’s no need for a new starting quarterback in Arlington for a while, right?

    History proves that a new quarterback needs to be something that the Cowboys must look into in the near future. Believe it or not, Romo will be 31 years old come draft day. Realistically, Romo’s window of opportunity to win a championship as a perceived elite quarterback hovers around three to four years.

    Would it make sense then to draft a quarterback in this draft?

    Potentially.

    But nothing in this draft will be affordable for the Cowboys. Additionally, if the Cowboys draft any quarterback, it most certainly cannot be Newton.

    Newton may have won an NCAA championship with the Tigers, but Newton only started one season in FBS football. Newton has a lack of true experience as a big-time leader.

    This would be a gigantic killer if he had to lead the annually most hyped team in the nation. Under the scrutiny of the Dallas market, Newton would crack under pressure and prove to be a massive bust.

    Additionally, Dallas doesn’t need yet another diva in the locker room. In the combine interviews, Newton called himself an “icon” and an “entertainer.” If anything, those quotes proved that Newton has plenty of character issues to work on before he can be ready to be handed the keys to the future of an NFL franchise. Beyond all that, there’s still plenty of leftover controversy from his days at the University of Florida, where Newton was arrested on suspicion of theft (charges were dropped after Newton completed a pretrial intervention program) and also accused of academic misconduct. It is also hard to ignore the pay-for-play controversy Cecil Newton allegedly discussed with Mississippi State before Cam Newton enrolled at Auburn.

    Drafting a player with character issues is an incredibly risky play by any franchise.

    Just ask the Tennessee Titans about Vince Young, or the Oakland Raiders about JaMarcus Russell. With a new regime of coaching and a potential shot at a Super Bowl run, the last thing the Cowboys need is a massive side project like Newton. If Dallas really wants to pick up a future quarterback, they should wait until next year’s draft and look at selecting someone such as LSU’s Jordan Jefferson or Southern Mississippi’s Austin Davis.

    With a quarterback waiting in the wings, Dallas can afford to have Romo finish out his stellar career by 2015, while mentoring the future star along the way. By the time 2016 comes around, Dallas will have a new, but seasoned, quarterback to take over. The model seemed to worked out alright for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers this year.

    More than anything, the news of Cam Newton interviewing with the Cowboys had to be hype over substance. Granted, Jerry Jones might be crazy enough to take Newton with the ninth pick, but there’s very little logic in that choice at this point. The Cowboys will need a quarterback protege soon, but Newton is certainly not that man.

    J.D. is a freshman journalism major from Honolulu, Hawaii and a writer for SportDFW.com.