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.