The 2015 season for the Dallas Cowboys was a complete disaster and the majority of the blame can be placed squarely on the backup quarterback situation. Once Tony Romo went down not once, but twice with a broken clavicle, we pretty much knew that the season was on the line.
Who was actually comfortable knowing that Brandon Weeden was a backup behind Romo heading into the 2015 season? I know I wasn’t. I thought it was an absolute mistake by the organization.
As it turns out, I was right. They did however try to remedy their failure and traded for Matt Cassel, but again that didn’t work out either.
Finally, they turned to Kellen Moore, but only after the season was all but finished and they really had nothing left to play for.
Again, I’m getting that feeling like I had last year when I found out Weeden was the backup QB. Are the Cowboys really going to rely on Kellen Moore to back up Tony Romo?
Well, according to Rob Phillips, a Senior Writer for the Dallas Cowboys, that is exactly the plan so far.
Jerry Jones on @1053thefan about his confidence in Kellen Moore backing up Romo at QB: “He’s got the instincts. He’s got the anticipation.
I can’t say that I really agree or disagree at this point, but it does leave me a little worried considering the fact that Romo has had a hard time remaining healthy.
There is still a lot of time to analyze this position throughout the remainder of the off-season and I for one will be keeping a close eye on the progress of the QBs on the roster to see who is best suited to step in if needed.
Here is how I think the Cowboys see things right now…
Kellen Moore, QB (6’0″, 200)
In 2015, Moore played in three games and started two of those contests. He completed 61 of 104 passes for a completions percentage of 58.7. He threw for 779 passing yards, four touchdowns, and six interceptions.
His best game was against the Washington Redskins, the final game of the season, where he completed 33 of 48 passes for 435 yards. He also threw for three touchdowns and two interceptions.
A lot of the belief that Moore is capable of being the backup QB is based on the Washington game and that is understandable after suffering through porous play from the position the majority of the year.
I however am worried that it’s a mistake. I’m not a big fan, even though he knows the offense having been with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan since entering a league.
He is a pocket passer with very limited mobility and limited arm strength to make all the throws. His size or lack of size, is worrisome. If he takes a big hit will he to be lost due to injury?
Despite my concerns though, it looks as if the Cowboys are willing to gamble that he is the best option at this time, but I don’t think for a second that they won’t be looking for a better option at some point.
Jameill Showers, QB (6’1″, 230)
Showers is someone that I’m really intrigued by. I think he showed a lot of poise last year during the preseason when he got the opportunity to play and I would like to see what he’s able to do after a year of development in the Cowboys system.
In all honesty, I really wanted to see him get the chance to play at the end of the season last year when the Cowboys didn’t have much to play for any more.
As of right now, I think the Cowboys have him third on the depth chart, but I think I actually like him just as much as Kellen Moore, if not a little more.
Showers showed during the preseason last year that he not only as the arm strength to make all the throws, but he has the poise to stand in the pocket and make a throw despite pressure being applied by the defense. He also shows the mobility to move the pocket and buy time to make a pass downfield and can also be a threat as a scrambling QB.
There are a lot of things that I like about Showers game and I hope that he gets the opportunity to display how much he has improved in a years time.
Dak Prescott, QB (6’2″, 226)
Dak Prescott is probably the low man on the totem pole right now despite being drafted in the fourth round. That’s not to say that it will remain that way once he is able to learn the playbook and get up to speed with the way things are done in the NFL.
Prescott has all of the physical traits that you look for in a QB. He has the prototypical size that NFL teams look for in their QBs. He has the arm strength to make all the throws in the NFL and has the ability to extend plays, while also being a threat to scramble when things break down.
However, he needs to get through his reads more quickly and like many other rookie QBs entering the NFL he needs to work on his mechanics. Cleaning up his mechanics might help with his accuracy for those intermediate and deep passes, which might be a concern if not addressed. He also needs to work on his anticipation. He tends to throw to a target instead of throwing a receiver open.
All in all, there are a lot of things to like about Prescott’s game and his future with the Cowboys, but I don’t think he’s the answer to back up Romo yet.
Tony Romo’s health is a big concern and if he does indeed have to miss extended time again the backup QB situation leaves much to be desired.
The fact that Kellen Moore is the most experienced QB on the roster is concerning and his size indicates that he could be one hit away from a major injury himself.
Showers as a year in the system and should be up to speed with the playbook. To me, I think he has more upside than Moore and provides a skill set more similar to Romo’s.
Prescott is a rookie and has to first learn the playbook, while also figuring out the speed of the NFL. It could be a huge cultural shock, resulting in him needing more time to be a valuable option as a backup QB.
Overall, the backup QB situation is still a concern and could possibly need to be addressed at some point.