Dallas Cowboys’ fans were put in a dark place last season. A team that typically shines with stars like Tony Romo and Dez Bryant on the field won just two games with both of these players on the field. By the end of the suffering, four wins were all that backup quarterbacks Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, and Kellen Moore were able to bring us in total – with only one win coming in a game started by this trio.
With all of this considered, it goes without saying that the backup quarterback position in Dallas is absolutely critical for the Cowboys’ 2016 season. Cowboys Nation should certainly not be expected to endure another season like 2015 in the case of a Tony Romo injury, especially with so much talent elsewhere on the roster. The team very well understands this, but didn’t do much to stabilize the QB2 spot this off season.
They brought back Kellen Moore, who then got injured, and turned their attention to the young and unproven guys on the roster – Jameill Showers and rookie Dak Prescott.
Enter Dak Prescott, who looked the part of a quarterback to get excited about (sorry, Kellen) in his preseason debut. With the lights shining bright on the always-cool fourth round pick, Prescott stood in the pocket with the likes of Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, and Cole Beasley on the field, and led the Cowboys on two scoring drives with scoring strikes to Williams and Bryant.
Now, I was just as excited about Prescott as the next guy watching him on Saturday, but Jason Garrett and this team should absolutely want to see a lot more from Dak before feeling comfortable with him as the primary backup quarterback.
His next test will come in front of the home fans on Friday, as the Cowboys face the Dolphins from AT&T Stadium.
If the Cowboys are truly about creating the highest possible level of competition on this roster, they will let Jameill Showers come out and play with the same supporting cast that aided Prescott last week in Los Angeles. Showers completed 8 passes on 16 attempts in the preseason opener, facing heavy pressure and being forced to improvise on many of his drop backs.
Should Jameill put up a similar performance in front of the Cowboys’ faithful at the game on Friday, Prescott will later come into the game with even higher expectations. How he handles this pressure will only give the Cowboys a better feel for what they have in the rookie, while making both him and Showers better in the process.
Both quarterbacks have improvements to make if they want to truly prove that they can keep the Dallas Cowboys relevant in the absence of Tony Romo – which three different QBs failed at miserably in 2015.
Friday night may not only give us a glimpse at Tony Romo for the first time this season, but a better look at what life could look like without Romo in 2016 and beyond. Heavy showers should be in the stars, and we should all be okay with that.