Cowboys' Jason Garrett: We need to find Romo's replacement

INDIANAPOLIS --Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett acknowledged on Wednesday that the time has come to find a quarterback to serve as an apprentice to Tony Romo.

But he's offering no hints as to where in the draft it might happen.

"Certainly we want to have a young quarterback in our program who we're developing to be a guy who replaces Tony Romo at some point," Garrett told NFL Network. "Does that mean we take him in the first round, the second round or the third round? I don't know that. We've got to evaluate these guys and sort out who we like at all the positions."

A month ago at the Reese's Senior Bowl, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wasn't nearly as emphatic that the 2016 draft was the right place and time to acquire the franchise's next starting quarterback. The club holds the No. 4 overall pick in the draft and could have a chance to pick one of the draft's elite quarterbacks -- perhaps North Dakota State's Carson Wentz or Cal's Jared Goff -- in the first round.

Second-day draft options (Rounds 2-3) could include Penn State's Christian Hackenberg, Ohio State's Cardale Jones or Mississippi State's Dak Prescott.

Garrett said the club will not interview Wentz at the combine because it spent a week with him at the Senior Bowl, where the Cowboys' staff coached Wentz's North squad.

"We had a great experience when we coached Wentz down at the Senior Bowl. We were with him for five days and saw him practice three times and play in the game, handle meetings, and he was really an impressive guy. ... We won't sit down with Wentz (at the combine) because we spent a week with him. We'll sit down with five or six of the other guys that we like," Garrett said.

Dallas' second-day draft picks are Nos. 34 and 67 overall, and it's first pick of the fourth round comes at No. 101.

By that point, the options will have dwindled, but that doesn't mean the relative value for a quarterback won't come later in the draft. Garrett said the club has "gotten into trouble when you overdo the need thing."

If Romo is lost again to injury in 2016, however, the need thing could be all-important for the Cowboys.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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