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Cowboys’ Available Free Agent Backup Quarterback Options

Brian Martin



Cowboys Headlines - Available Free Agent Backup Quarterback Options

The Dallas Cowboys thought they were set at the backup quarterback position with Kellen Moore, but an unfortunate injury now has the organization examining all their options for the right player to back up Tony Romo in 2016.

The Cowboys tried to bring in Nick Foles, but he decided to rejoin an Andy Reid coached team in the Kansas City Chiefs. They then tried to work out a trade with the Cleveland Browns for veteran quarterback Josh McCown, but the Browns were wanting an arm and a leg in return.

With the failure to bring in their top two choices, the Dallas Cowboys decided to see what they have in Jameill Showers and Dak Prescott. But don’t for a second think that they are not looking at all of the options outside of the organization.

In fact, I think they’re going to let Showers and Prescott play the first two preseason games and then possibly look at adding a veteran QB if they don’t like what they see.

I for one am against giving way tradable assets for a backup QB or draft picks for that matter, so I decided to take a look at available quarterbacks that could be brought in relatively cheaply.

Here are some of the players that could be of interest to the Dallas Cowboys, and no Johnny Manziel or Tim Tebow are absolutely not on this list if you were wondering.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys' Available Free Agent Backup Quarterback Options 2TJ Yates

TJ Yates is personally one of my favorite available free agent quarterbacks. That probably has a lot to do with the fact that he is the one that I am the most familiar with having seen firsthand what he was able to accomplish with the Houston Texans when called upon.

Did you know as a rookie he led the Houston Texans to their first ever playoff win against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012?

Since then, he’s pretty much been regulated to backup duty with the Atlanta Falcons in 2014 and once again for a second time with the Texans in 2015. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL injury in December of the 2015 season, which could explain his availability.

A healthy TJ Yates could be an intriguing backup QB option for the Dallas Cowboys.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys' Available Free Agent Backup Quarterback Options 3Michael Vick

I have already seen outcries that the Dallas Cowboys should bring in Michael Vick to be the insurance policy in case Tony Romo is once again injured.

It’s pretty understandable that the most recognizable name among available quarterbacks gets linked to the Cowboys. It happens just about every time a well-known player is released or looking for work, but Michael Vick actually makes sense in a way.

He served admirably as Ben Roethlisberger’s backup in 2015 and could do the same thing for the Cowboys as well. He has experience in the NFC East division and probably still has enough left in the tank to get the job done.

Personally, I’m a little indifferent as to whether or not I think Michael Vick would be a good backup QB for the Dallas Cowboys, but I would be on board with whatever decision they made.

Charlie WhitehurstCowboys Headlines - Cowboys' Available Free Agent Backup Quarterback Options 4

Charlie Whitehurst might just be the best looking available QB, which is why he is probably the arm candy of Grammy Award winning singer  Jewel.

He is familiar with playing a backup role having done so pretty much his entire NFL career. He has served as a backup QB for the Chargers twice, Seahawks, Titans, and most recently with the Indianapolis Colts in 2015.

Whitehurst spent the majority of his career as a member of the San Diego Chargers in Norv Turner’s offense, so he would be familiar with the system that the Dallas Cowboys use offensively.

Whitehurst’s familiarity with the Cowboys offensive scheme make him someone the Dallas Cowboys could look at to secure that backup QB position behind Tony Romo.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys' Available Free Agent Backup Quarterback Options 6Tarvaris Jackson

Tarvaris Jackson has served as Russell Wilson’s backup quarterback in Seattle for the past three seasons, but an assault with a deadly weapon allocation against him could keep them off of the Dallas Cowboys radar.

I personally think the Cowboys have been reflected negatively in the media enough for bringing in players with troubled pasts, so I don’t think Jackson will be worth the media headache he would bring to the organization.

Nevertheless, he is available and could probably be had on a cheap one year deal if the Dallas Cowboys deem him suitable as a backup QB.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys' Available Free Agent Backup Quarterback Options 7Matt Flynn

Matt Flynn has been a backup QB for nearly his entire NFL career, much like all the other players on this list.

Flynn has been a member of several teams in the NFL in some sort of capacity. He has been with the Packers twice, Seahawks, Raiders, Bills, Patriots, Jets, and the New Orleans Saints.

He did however get a chance to be the starter for the Seattle Seahawks, but was ultimately beaten out by Russell Wilson in his rookie season.

Flynn is a born and raised Texan, so he would probably welcome a return to his home state. Unfortunately for him, he is probably not sitting near the top of the Cowboys list of backup quarterbacks.

Do any of these backup QB’s sound like good options for the Dallas Cowboys?

Now, you can probably understand why the Cowboys organization is willing to take the wait-and-see approach, while evaluating both Dak Prescott and Jameill Showers.

Please feel free to use the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the possibility of adding any of these quarterbacks. Or share with all of us who you would like to see the Dallas Cowboys add to back up Tony Romo.


Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

  • Ameri Guy

    Never ever Vick the dog Killer! Evil man.

    • Brian Martin

      Ameri Guy, Michael Vick is definitely not somebody I would personally choose to become Tony Romo's backup. I would rather go with Showers or Prescott.

  • George Johnson

    Based on what little I know, Charlie Whitehurst might be the right choice. If he knows the Dallas offense as you say he should be able to quickly get up to speed and learn the Dallas play calling language. Having worked and played in the offense is also an advantage. One of the things S Linehan said about K Moore is that he did not have to change much up if K Moore has to come in for T Romo. He said with a lot of QBs that might be available, he would have to simplify the offense. This is also why I think S Linehan will prefer a veteran QB like C Whitehurst over Showers and Prescott. For them he would have to simplify the offense based on what he said.

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for coming George. I agree that Whitehurst might just be on the short list of options for the Cowboys. I think it will ultimately depend on how well Showers and Prescott perform in the preseason though. If they perform well, I think the Cowboys might just stick with their young QBs.

  • Greg Ivy

    I think Showers ,given the chance could fill in for Romo and possibly be a future starter in the NFL. Romo would not have had the chance either except circumstances left the Cowboys with no other options and Bill at the helm recognized his competitiveness . Be patient and see what happens in preseason. .

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Greg. We both seem to be along the same line of thinking. I really want to see what Showers is able to do in the preseason.

Player News

Orlando Scandrick Talks Cowboys’ Disappointing Season on FOX Sports

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys Headlines - Forget the Triplets: Cowboys Need The Underrated to Shine in 2016
Ashley Landis / The Dallas Morning News

For better or worse, the Cowboys don’t even need to play football to be all over national TV. I guess it’s just part of being the one and only America’s Team. For the second consecutive week, Fox Sports had a Dallas Cowboys’ player on set for Fox’s “Undisputed.”

Just a week ago, Brice Butler made waves with some controversial comments that failed to make him look like a “great teammate.”

This time, Fox’s guest was Cowboys’ Cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Unlike Butler, I really think we should give Scandrick credit for being a very good teammate, and acting like one on his TV appearance.

Throughout the segment, it feels as if Orlando is being tricked into saying something against his teammates. Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe start bashing on Dez Bryant‘s performance and the fact that he should be replaced.

Of course, this is the kind of stuff fans in Cowboys Nation are thinking about. Heck, I really wouldn’t even mind if Dez isn’t wearing a star next season. However, I really disliked Butler’s comments when asked if he would’ve done a better job if given the same opportunities as Dez.

Scandrick’s responses were awesome though. When asked if he would defend Dez, he didn’t even hesitate.

“I don’t think he’s lost any confidence. He’s one of the most confident players I’ve ever been around. I think it can all be fixed. I think he just needs to get back to work and get back to the basics.” – Orlando Scandrick on Dez Bryant.

Scandrick also answered questions about what went wrong with the Cowboys this season by pointing out the fact they lost one of their best players because of a suspension, and some injuries. But he also said what’s been in our minds for a long time. When asked what was the biggest reason they struggled, he said some painful, yet truthful words: “We played some bad football against some very good teams.”

Later, he was asked about how Sean Lee’s absence affected the defense, he insisted they didn’t step up. At the end of the day, the NFL is a league in which you can’t be that dependent on a single player.

Sean Lee is an awesome player, but I think we’d all like to see this defense be a little less dependent on him.

Scandrick even had to defend Dak Prescott.

Dak was highly criticized after a sophomore season in which he struggled, alongside the entire team. But in the words of Orlando, we should “give him time.” Dak had a lot on his plate, but he made a lot of progress for the Cowboys.

You can listen to the entire interview here.

Orlando Scandrick’s time in Dallas may be coming to an end, especially with young guys like Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis taking over. He’s signed through 2019, so who knows; maybe we see him wearing the star for a bit longer.

“It’s always a possibility.” – Orlando Scandrick on potentially not returning to Dallas next season.

Even still, it’s nice to see him support his football team and his friends on a show which featured a non-starting Cowboys’ wide receiver taking shots against his team. Orlando Scandrick deserves an applause.

Tell me what you think about “Orlando Scandrick Talks Cowboys’ Disappointing Season on FOX Sports” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!


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Dallas Cowboys

Should Cowboys Pursue Veteran Backup at Quarterback?

Jess Haynie



Cowboys en Español: Cooper Rush
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys only have two quarterbacks under contract right now, starter Dak Prescott and backup Cooper Rush. With only three years of combined experience between them, one could argue that a veteran presence would be useful. Should Dallas make a veteran QB a free-agent priority in the 2018 offseason?

Of course, there’s plenty of other QB experience on the Cowboys staff. Head Coach Jason Garrett played professionally from 1989-2004, and started his coaching career with quarterbacks.

Scott Linehan has been coaching offense with an emphasis on the passing game for 30 years.

Kellen Moore, who is taking over for the departed Wade Wilson as quarterbacks coach, has played very recently and will bring a fresh perspective.

However, losing Wilson’s experience from the room, and the lack of any veteran player at QB, shouldn’t be dismissed.

Dak Prescott has said veteran Mark Sanchez — who was with Dallas in 2016 — was a major help during his whirlwind rookie season. Tony Romo enjoyed veteran advice from guys like Brad Johnson, Jon Kitna, and Kyle Orton throughout his playing career.

This isn’t to say Dallas would want to bring in a veteran to knock Cooper Rush down the depth chart. After a surprising preseason, Rush took the backup job from Kellen Moore and certainly has intriguing upside.

If the Cowboys were to add a veteran, that player would have to come in with the understanding he’s competing with Cooper and may not be guaranteed a job.

The good news is that it’ll be a buyer’s market for veteran quarterbacks this offseason.

Guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, and Matt Moore could all be available. Even a player with more pedigree, such as Sam Bradford, may have trouble finding starting work with many jobs taken among the NFL’s 32 teams.

Dallas could even consider bringing back Mark Sanchez, given his previous relationship with Dak Prescott. He only had a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

Given Prescott’s seeming durability, Dallas will likely only keep two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster in 2018 and for years to come. Because of that, they may be content to focus on Dak and Cooper Rush, and just get through the offseason with training camp bodies.

However, the case can certainly be made for adding another veteran player with the desire to teach to help these young quarterbacks develop. Prescott was not the same guy in 2017 that we saw as a rookie, and perhaps the absence of guys like Sanchez and Tony on the sideline had something to do with that.


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Dallas Cowboys

Why WR Coach Sanjay Lal is a Good Hire for Cowboys

Kevin Brady



Why WR Coach Sanjay Lal Is A Good Hire For Cowboys

Yesterday, it was announced that the Dallas Cowboys will hire Sanjay Lal to be their new wide receivers coach. Lal spent 2017 with the Indianapolis Colts in the same position, but has made multiple stops around the NFL prior to joining the Cowboys staff.

Most recently and arguably most notably, Sanjay Lal was the receivers coach for both the New York Jets (2012-2014) and the Buffalo Bills (2015-2016). This means he coached on Rex Ryan’s staff for two different teams, with two very similar offensive philosophies.

Run the football.

As seen in the video below, Sanjay Lal has experience working as the wide outs coach for an offense with a run-first philosophy. He even says himself that their offense in New York was “ground and pound,” but notes that “without a pass game there’s no pound.”

Cowboys fans became all too familiar with the truth behind that statement during the 2017 season, as even solid efforts in the run game were rendered meaningless by their lack of explosion through the air.

Jets Nation Inside Camp: Sanjay Lal Mic’d Up

Jets wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal is mic’d up during training camp, and also discusses trying to play pro football before becoming a coach in the NFL.

A lot has been made of Sanjay Lal’s lack of 1,000-yard receivers during his time as a coach. The offensive philosophies of the teams which he coached for, however, show why this criticism is flimsy.

It’s quite possible the Cowboys will once again be without a 1,000 yard pass catcher this season, but if Ezekiel Elliott and the run game are clicking, and Dak Prescott is spreading the ball to different targets, this stat won’t mean a thing.

Lal was also the coach in Buffalo when Sammy Watkins had the best years of his career, including a 1,000-yard season.

During that stint he coached Robert Woods to productive seasons as well. Now Woods is a dangerous target for the Los Angeles Rams after being coached by Lal for multiple seasons.

These were also the same years that quarterback Tyrod Taylor was at his best.

While in New York, with the Jets, Lal’s most productive receiver was Jeremy Kerley, who finished with 827 yards in 2012 and 523 in 2013. What’s important to note here is that Kerley played as a slot receiver for much of his time as a Jet.

The Cowboys lacked any type of production from the slot in 2017, but maybe Lal can change that by getting the best out of Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer, as he did with Kerley.

Bryan Broaddus on Twitter

Know that some believe he had a real shot to be an OC in this league one day.

All indications from those “in the know” suggest Sanjay Lal is on his way to becoming an offensive coordinator soon. Many believe he has the smarts and the football IQ to command an offense himself, as soon as he gets the right opportunity.

Maybe that opportunity will come down the line in Dallas, where he can continue to coach within that “ground and pound” style, which he has done for many years while also implementing elements of his own passing game expertise.

Everyone has been critical of the Cowboys’ inability to bring in external hires, and to spark up new/creative offensive ideas. Lal has spent time among some of the smartest offensive minds in football.

Maybe he’s the man to bring in that outside creativity this offense seems to lack.


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