After two unproductive preseason games, some are already clamoring for Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback Mike White to lose his roster spot. I would ask those folks if the fifth-round pick, playing mostly with guys who aren’t going to make this team come September, is really getting a fair opportunity to show his skills?
I get the mentality; you don’t want to see talented players at other positions lose a job unnecessarily. That’s fair. That was the argument my fellow Inside The Star writer Kevin Brady made earlier this week.
But cutting White means more than just opening a roster spot. It pretty much means admitting failure, just four months later, on a mid-round draft pick.
Dallas didn’t spend a seventh or a sixth on White. They spent a fifth. In terms of sheer trade value, a fifth-round pick is generally worth more than your sixth and seventh rounders combined.
Many felt Mike White was a steal when the Cowboys got him where they did. Some thought he had second-day talent. And I promise you that almost everyone calling for his head now was delighted with the pick right after the draft.
If nothing else, cutting White means losing his four-year rookie contract as a drafted player. You also open him up to poachers on the practice squad, and I doubt he’d last long given his value back during the draft.
But beyond all that, let’s get real about how he’s played so far in preseason. We also need to take a serious look at the talent around him and what chance he’s really had to succeed.
Even the second-team offensive line play has been rough for Dallas in these last two games. Chaz Green has been abysmal, per usual, but other guys have also struggled. We’ve seen both White and Cooper Rush under duress on the majority of their passing plays.
Let’s also remember who White is throwing to. Mekale McKay and Ricky Jeune aren’t going to be on this team in a few weeks.
I know what you’re thinking; “But Jess, the defense has its scrubs out there, too.” And while that’s true, offensive execution requires more precision, timing, and mental acumen. The defense has an inherent advantage late in preseason games.
So no, Mike White hasn’t thrown a touchdown yet. And he’s only a combined 14/27 for 139 yards. I get it.
But you know what he hasn’t done? Turned it over; not a fumble or interception yet despite the pressure he’s been under. That’s a stat you can’t ignore.
Again, I understand the overall argument. Nobody wants to see a guy like Lance Lenoir not make the roster just to keep a third quarterback.
But Dallas didn’t draft Mike White four months ago for nothing. They saw value at a position where, arguably, they didn’t really have to take anybody last April. The Cowboys want to start a new model for developing QB talent.
You won’t get there if you give up on guys after their first few preseason games.