Cowboys would like to develop third QB

OXNARD, Calif. -- Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the team would like to develop a third quarterback, but there are too many variables involved for it to happen.

Twenty-two quarterbacks have been drafted by 18 teams in the past two NFL drafts. The Cowboys are not one of those teams, but two NFC East opponents -- Washington and Philadelphia -- drafted two quarterbacks apiece the past two years.

Garrett has four on his roster, including Tony Romo, Kyle Orton, Alex Tanney and Nick Stephens.

"Absolutely, absolutely," Garrett said when asked about developing a quarterback. "You have to make the best of it for your team. If your guy is on the 53-man roster or part of your 61 (includes practice squad), you just have to sort out the rest of your roster. There are so many different 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. We definitely would like to develop not only at all positions, but particularly that one."

The last time Dallas drafted a quarterback was Stephen McGee in the fourth round of the 2009 draft. McGee never developed into a quality backup, and the Cowboys released him in 2011.

"That's the challenge for all teams in the league: What's the value of a young developing quarterback in this salary-cap era that we're in," Garrett said. "You don’t have the opportunity to develop a guy for five years and then he eventually becomes your starter. You get into these contract situations where you're developing a guy for somebody else. You got to be careful about that value that you placed with somebody else. If you draft him too high, you better get ready to play that guy relatively early in his career. It's a tricky thing that everybody has to sort out and what works best for them."