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What Free Agent QBs Are Still Available?

Cowboys Headlines - What Free Agent QBs Are Still Available? 3

Dallas Cowboys

What Free Agent QBs Are Still Available?

On March 10th the Cowboys had a visit with free agent quarterback Matt Moore. The 31-year-old ultimately decided to re-sign with the Miami Dolphins and we have no idea if the Cowboys made him an offer, let alone what the financial terms of it were.

What we do know is that Dallas didn’t bring Moore in just to catch up with an old friend. The Cowboy were clearly in the market to add a veteran passer and there’s no reason to think they aren’t still interested. So, who else is out there?

Here’s a look at the best of the remaining free agent quarterbacks and my thoughts on how they’d work in Dallas. I’ve ranked them in the order by which I’d like to see them signed.

Cowboys Headlines - What Free Agent QBs Are Still Available? 2

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick

The obvious first choice, Fitzpatrick threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns last year with the Jets. He will likely end up signing somewhere as a starter, perhaps returning to New York or landing in Denver. However, at 33-years-old, there’s always the chance that Fitzpatrick won’t get the starting job that he probably deserves.

The chances of Fitzpatrick coming to Dallas are slim. Not only would he a guaranteed backup behind Tony Romo but there’s no way Dallas would pay him more than a few million per year. Money has been the big hangup between Fitzpatrick and the Jets so it’s hard to see him taking such a massive pay cut on top of not being able to compete for the starting job.

However, something is always better than nothing. If Fitzpatrick gets desperate then he may look at Romo’s health issues and see an opportunity in Dallas. Even if it’s only for one year, it may be a chance to get in some games and stay relevant for next year’s free agent market. It’s highly unlikely, of course, but not entirely impossible.

Cowboys Headlines - What Free Agent QBs Are Still Available? 12. Jimmy Clausen

The drop off from Fitzpatrick to the rest of the pack is steep, but that’s what happens in the fourth week of free agency. Clausen, a former second-round pick, will turn 29 in September and has played with three teams since entering the league in 2010.

Last year Clausen, the third-stringer in Baltimore behind Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub, ended up starting in back-to-back games in December. At home against two very good defenses, Seattle and Kansas City, Clausen had two solid stat lines: 274 yards and a pick against the Seahawks followed by 281 yards, two touchdowns, and two picks against the Chiefs.  He also had five runs for 30 yards against Kansas City.

Obviously I don’t think Clausen is anything great, but he has a good arm, quick release, and the mobility to do well in our offense. He has a lot more experience than Kellen Moore and would at least be competition for the backup job.

Cowboys Headlines - What Free Agent QBs Are Still Available?3. Josh Freeman

Still just 28, Freeman isn’t that far removed from the guy everyone was projecting to be a breakout star in Tampa Bay. He was out of the NFL for most of 2015 but got signed for a single game by the Colts in Week 17.

It’s no secret that Freeman was highly immature and blew his chance with the Bucs with poor behavior and lack of leadership. There’s always the chance that Freeman has been humbled and matured from those experiences. If so, his raw talent is probably better than anyone on this list. He’s worth a look, if nothing else.

4. Whoever

At this point you can just start throwing out names. Bruce Gradkowski, Charlie Whitehurst, Kellen Clemens… they’ve been hanging around depth charts for years. If you have one whose skill set you thinks fits well with your offense then you can bring them in to compete with Kellen Moore.

While I would’ve liked Matt Moore a lot better than this group, you could argue that the talent difference may not be much.  Moore has just proven more from time as a starter and I liked that he’s been here before with both Romo and Garrett, albeit nine years ago. Ultimately, plenty of guys have comparable talent.

5. Johnny Manziel

Only if everyone is gone and Quincy Carter refuses to come out of retirement.

Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I’ll be sure to respond!

  • Cordell Dupree

    We have the back up on the team right now. ……draft a Qb and you are set to start the season and you also have Showers

    • Cordell Dupree

      They can keep Manzel and all those others

      • Bryson Treece

        Definitely agree there. These aging vets as backup QBs just don't work in Dallas. I'd rather get a good prospect in the draft and invest some future value in a QB.

    • Jess Haynie

      Well, this isn't to say I'd rather them sign old guys then do something in the draft. I'd love for them to spend a mid-round pick on a QB and have that guy beat out Moore to be the backup. But if the rookie needs grooming then I would like at least one more veteran here to compete with Moore. Showers can be in the mix, too.

  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields

    I honestly believe in the concept of grooming. Even if we drafted a guy, I would prefer that he didn't *have* to play in 2016.

    The last thing you want, I think, is to draft a guy and have Romo suffer a season-ending injury in Week 2 and suddenly the guy is getting thrown to the wolves. How well that'll work out for the team is questionable, and how that will impact that quarterback's future is even more questionable.

  • GiOjeda

    What about Showers? I know he's still on the PS so they must see something there. Has this staff not been able to develop him or hasn't shown enough to trust him? If so, why keep him? I thought he, too, showed flashes of potential.

    • GiOjeda


    • Jess Haynie

      It's a little soon to be asking those questions. Romo was in his fourth year of development when Parcells finally gave him a shot. Showers still needs a lot of work before we can start gauging how the coaches have been doing with him, or what his potential really is.

  • RJ Ochoa

    Team Showers

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece
    RJ Ochoa

    Team Showers

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

    Team showers?!? Dude, wtf?

    Sent from my LGMS631 using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

  • RJ Ochoa

    I mean… I'm not like TEAM SHOWERS, but I'd like to keep him around.

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

    I don't even think it's too soon to talk about Showers as a legitimate option at QB. The way this team is built right now, I think the concept of waiting 4 years for any QB is a mute point. Romo has 2-3 left and that's the timeframe to get a replacement that can get out there with Dez and win football games.

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