While it may not be high on their list of 2019 offseason priorities, backup quarterback is an area where the Dallas Cowboys might want to consider an upgrade. Not only could it help them if Dak Prescott were to get injured, but Dak’s best season was when he had experienced players supporting him in 2016.
As a rookie, Prescott enjoyed veteran advice from Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez. It was the same year that he only threw four interceptions and posted his highest career passer rating.
Dak has credit both men with helping him that year, and especially Sanchez. While many have spun a story about Tony’s huge impact on Prescott that season, the truth is that Romo was still wanting to get his job back. He was only going to help so much.
The real mentor was Sanchez, who had despite being known mostly for “Butt Fumble” these days had seen a lot in his 72 career starts with the Jets and Eagles. He had lived through the fame of being a first-round pick in New York, a 4-2 record in playoff games, and the eventual fall from grace.
Cooper Rush and Mike White can’t offer any such insights. Rush has only thrown three passes so far in his NFL career, all in garbage time. But that’s still three more than White, who has yet to take the field in the regular season.
Already having these two young prospects in the mix, should the Cowboys pursue a veteran to compete for the backup job and bring some additional experience to the room?
Some of that experience will come from new Quarterbacks Coach Jon Kitna, who was hired to fill the hole left by Kellen Moore’s ascension to Offensive Coordinator. Kitna started 124 games in his NFL career and brings far more firsthand knowledge to the role than Moore or even the late Wade Wilson had.
But even while having two former quarterbacks as the position coach and OC, Dallas could still stand to add another experienced player to the depth chart. Even if Prescott has enough mentors, a good insurance policy never hurts when you’re trying to compete for a championship.
While Dak has been a model of durability thus far, he’s still a mobile QB and was one of the most-sacked passers in the league last year. An injury will happen at some point, and do the Cowboys really want to turn to Rush or White if it comes at a critical juncture in the season?
There appears to be a plethora of experienced quarterbacks in this year’s free agency pool. Several offer Prescott’s mobility, such as Tyrod Taylor, Trevor Siemian, or Robert Griffin III. Others can bring loads of experience, like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, or Matt Schaub.
Even Dak’s old buddy Mark Sanchez, still just 32 years old, is an option.
Some of these guys would expect to be your number-two QB, and that’s fine. Neither Cooper Rush or Mike White is entitled to the job at this point.
But open competition is the best way to go. Let one of the veterans battle with the youngsters in training camp. Even if Rush or White ascends to the backup role, perhaps the veteran remains a superior option for your third QB.
With plenty of cap space in 2019, Dallas can afford to spend a little on the QB depth chart. They already have their young development players, so it makes a lot of sense to add a player who can provide some experience and perhaps enhance Dak Prescott’s development.