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How The Dallas Cowboys Completely Lucked Into Their Backup Quarterback

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Headlines - How The Dallas Cowboys Completely Lucked Into Their Backup QuarterDAK

There's a word I've been using a lot this offseason pertaining to the 2016 Dallas Cowboys - arrogant.

The thing about arrogance is, if it's justified, it's not necessarily stupid. It's just pompous. The Dallas Cowboys have -- through one preseason game -- somewhat justified some of their offseason arrogance.

In 2015, Tony Romo had more collarbone breaks than the Cowboys did wins without him. Putting things nicely... that's pathetic. Dallas paraded the clumsiest, least coordinated, and most inaccurate people that have ever thrown a pigskin through the quarterback position last year, and do you know what lesson they learned from that?

Do it again.

Lesson Not Learned, Oh Well!

The Cowboys saw Kellen Moore's inability to win a game as the Cowboys QB and said, "Well golly, I bet he could do it in 2016... even though he's never done it before and nothing suggests he can... This makes sense... America's Team!" and we were all left stunned.

Imagine that you and I went out for a boat ride (I'll bring some fun music don't worry... hope you like the Cast of Glee) and the boat sank. That would really suck. It'd be a horrible experience. Now imagine one year later I asked you to come out again... and I had done nothing to fix the boat.

That'd be pretty stupid, right?

Cowboys Headlines - How The Dallas Cowboys Completely Lucked Into Their Backup QuarterDAK 1

Kellen Moore's injury, while unfortunate for him, could have very well changed the future of the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys boarded the "S.S. Minnow Moore" when they headed out to Training Camp, intent on scribbling his name underneath Tony Romo's on their depth chart. When Kellen suffered an injury that will likely cost him his season, Dallas turned to their 4th Round Draft Pick - Mississippi State's Dak Prescott.

Thanks to Dak's great play (let's remember it is a preseason game, so we don't get carried away) in Sunday's preseason-opening loss, it looks like the Cowboys might have potentially struck gold. Weird.

Yes, assuming Dak's career will display some of what we saw this past Sunday, the Cowboys might have found Tony Romo's heir... but they did it totally, completely, and absolutely indisputably on accident.

The Road To Dak Prescott

Obviously the lone survivor from 2015's quarterback fiasco was Kellen Moore. He was the first option for the Dallas Cowboys to back up Tony Romo in 2016. Seriously. People sat down in a room, suggested this, and then agreed that it was a good idea. This really happened.

It should be noted that the Cowboys did learn a teeny bit from 2015. They potentially wanted Jared Goff or Carson Wentz with the 4th Overall Pick, but thanks to some pre-Draft trades, those options were taken away from them.

Cowboys Headlines - How The Dallas Cowboys Completely Lucked Into Their Backup QuarterDAK 2

It's only been one preseason game, but Dak Prescott has the Dallas Cowboys feeling like the future of the quarterback position is in good hands.

Never fear! Jerry Jones is here! The Owner, President, and General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys then set his sights on the consensus third-ranked quarterback in the available crop - Paxton Lynch.

After being unable to swing a trade to land a Star on Lynch's helmet, Jones & Co. decided to look elsewhere for a potential quarterback puppy; the 4th Round.

It was well-known the Cowboys were about to take Michigan State's Connor Cook with the 101st pick, until the Oakland Raiders bailed them out. Ultimately, the Cowboys took Dak at #135, making Prescott the eighth quarterback selected and -- seemingly -- the perfect one for us.

Better Lucky Than Good

The Cowboys "Luck'd" into the 2016 season when Lucky Whitehead took the opening kickoff to the house for a touchdown against the Rams. Where the Cowboys really got lucky was that everything they tried to do in terms of quarterback planning went awry and that it all led to a young man by the name of Dak Prescott.

Dak Prescott has us all excited. We'll see if he really is worth the hype.  But for now? He's our #QuarterDAK.

What do you make of Dak Prescott's road to the Cowboys? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at RJ@RJOchoaShow.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!

Tell us what you think about "How The Dallas Cowboys Completely Lucked Into Their Backup Quarterback" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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6 Comments
  • txpatriot

    FYI: I think the word you want is “awry” not “array”.

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      … so true. Fixed. Thanks!

  • George Johnson

    RJ Ocha: Keep up the K Moore bashing if it makes you feel good, but you are wrong. K Moore was given a chance to be the 2nd team QB in 2016 because of his performance in 2015 and previous body of work. S Linehan who is a QB expert and experienced NFL offensive coordinator said he could play in the NFL and be a good backup for T Romo. You and many others may not believe this but you also refuse to attack S Linehan publically as incompetent. I will take S Linehan at his word. S Linehan has also explained why he thinks K Moore can play and has said his arm is strong enough and he compensates for his arm not being the strongest in the NFL, with his accuracy, timing and uncanny anticipation. K Moore in 2015 did not win any games but did fairly well considering it was his first time playing against first team defenses and he had limited reps to get ready to play. Before criticizing K Moore for his first two and one half games, compare him to any starter in the NFL, their first two or three games. I bet he did pretty well with this comparison. He moved the ball and did a lot of good things per S Linehan but also made too many mistakes. Based on K Moore’s previous body of work these deficiencies/mistakes seemed to be uncharacteristic for K Moore and I am confident the coaches and FO thought K Moore could improve on them with more experience/reps. He was made the 2nd team backup for good reasons. He would of also most likely done very well in the preseason Los Angeles game as Prescott did. Prescott was not getting a lot of pressure and made good decisions and had some easy throws mixed in with a few harder throws. He was composed/confident and very accurate, which are K Moore’s strengths. We will see how Prescott does in future preseason games with a lot more pressure and better defenses.

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      It’s not that anyone thinks Scott Linehan is incompetent because he supports Kellen Moore, as you have mentioned. But as the team’s Offensive Coordinator, when speaking about an active player who is currently in good standing on a fairly classy team (drug suspensions and Greg Hardy hurt us a bit there), it’ll be a cold day in hell before he outwardly bashes one of his players. Whether justified or not, these coaches simply do not air negative opinions about their players. And that’s a great thing.

      But don’t be fooled. Linehan not saying that Kellen Moore can’t be an NFL quarterback does not mean he thinks he is the best man for the job, on the roster or not. His praise for Moore is not a put-down of Dak Prescott either.

      IF … big if … Prescott can continue to perform throughout preseason, then he will unseat Moore as the team’s #2 quarterback, and it will have almost nothing to do with positive or negative views of Moore.

      The big advantages Moore has over Prescott right now are experience and consistency. Give Prescott a little time and those advantages are called into question. But Prescott has to show that he can continue to make smart plays and remain in control, of himself and the game. We could debate how long he needs to do that before he closes in on Moore’s advantages, but I’d venture a guess that the Cowboys’ coaches are very willing to name Prescott the primary backup to Tony Romo if he performs well in preseason.

      Franchise quarterbacks are rare. They’re so rare that never has every NFL team had a legitimate franchise QB together in the same year. Backup quarterbacks are not so rare. There is competition for their job and personal feelings and attitudes play a part.

      But make no mistake, when push comes to shove, the most likable guy in the world will get benched in favor of upside, potential, and most of all, dollars-to-doughnuts performance; numbers, completions, percentages, yards, touchdowns.

      There are a lot of talented people on this offense. The #2 QB is going to come down to who can go out on the field and produce the biggest results with that talent. Jamiell Showers is a project player; I wouldn’t even say project quarterback with him, but overall player, so he’s not likely to get the nod, barring injuries to all of those ahead of him on the depth chart. At least for this year.

      Unfortunately, Kellen Moore is injured and must rely on previous performances to do his bidding. Cold, hard facts today — which could change each of the next three weeks — are that Kellen Moore hasn’t won anything more than Dak Prescott hasn’t won anything (Prescott has only had one opportunity, Kellen has had several). But keep in mind, Prescott had the team up 3 TDs when Showers came in the game. He did his job against the Rams.

      But there’s a lot of time left for Prescott to screw up and give your boy Kellen a shot to stand on precedence. I’m telling you now, though, If Prescott continues his play thus far throughout the preseason, I want Tony Romo, Dak Prescott, and Kellen Moore on the depth chart come Sept. 11. In that order.

  • George Johnson

    Bryson Treece: I agree with most of what you said. It has always been true that D Prescott has more upside potential than K Moore. They thought there was a chance he could replace T Romo some day when they drafted him. I don’t think they think K Moore is likely to replace T Romo some day because of his physical limitations. They do think K Moore could be a solid 2nd team QB and why he was the designated 2nd team QB going into 2016 with the idea D Prescott would most likely need 2016 for learning/development/adjustment. Also, it is not just what S Linehan has said about K Moore but also the fact they were willing to go with him at 2nd team for 2016 after the disaster last year that says they have quite a bit of confidence in K Moore. I think what is most likely to happen is they are still likely to bring in another more veteran QB and not be ready to make D Prescott the 2nd team QB for 2016. I have said all along that if D Prescott can earn the 2nd team QB in 2016 he is not only a quick learner/developer but also has a high probability of being the next franchise QB. I wish him the best in the rest of the preseason games.

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      Garrett has this thing about veteran backup QBs that I just don’t get. I understand it, and agree with the merits of the argument, but I can’t let that overwhelm the basic logic that with age comes experience, and with age comes limited capability. Sure, the vet might throw smarter, but can he make the smart throw?

      I liked the Kellen Moore last year because of that. He’s young and still has the capability to play, and he’s got a lot of learning under his belt.

      Personally, I don’t want to see a more veteran QB brought in. Not from what I saw Saturday. I’m definitely looking for more of the same in two days, next week, and the week after that. It’s my hope they will give Dak every opportunity to play during preseason, ceasing the opportunity to really test him under the guise of primary backup rather than evaluating players for the sake of evaluating players.

      I want that because I think, in 2016, Romo, Prescott, and Moore is a solid lineup at QB. Moore, once he’s healthy, can be that vet presence they like so much, and Dak can be ready for some experience.

      Now, if Dak collapses in the remaining preseason games, this all changes. But I like what I saw of the man in LA, and I grant that performance could’ve just been luck. But the way he handled himself wasn’t luck, that was character and character goes a long way at a lead-heavy position like QB.

      I always liked Kellen Moore. I shouted at my TV for Garrett to put Moore in when Cassel sucked and I was glad when they signed him, because I knew what he was. But I’ve never been able to give him more credit than I think he deserves. He’s a good #2 in a league where great #2s go on to start somewhere (B. Osweiler for example, and a bit of a stretch on the great part).

      Anyway, as ALWAYS, thanks for reading and commenting.

Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys Have a Championship Defense

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys Have a Championship Defense

The Dallas Cowboys are not only breathing in playoff contention, but they're now the favorites to crown themselves as the NFC East champions in 2018. It's pretty impressive how the tables can turn so quickly in the NFL. Dallas played very well against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday and we learned quite a bit from them as they bounced back to .500. Here's this week's Takeaway Tuesday! Enjoy it as much as you did Brett Maher's game winning field goal a couple of days ago.

Cowboys Have a Championship Defense

Despite taking steps in the right direction, it's impossible to compare this offense to units like the Chiefs, Saints and Rams. However, it's the Cowboys' defense that could be labeled as a championship unit. Facing an offense with such a strong WR core, allowing only one touchdown on the road is impressive.

The Cowboys sacked Matt Ryan three times and were constantly causing pressures. Byron Jones was great once again, allowing only two catches in passes thrown in his direction. And of course, the kid who's been impressing us all, Leighton Vander Esch continued to play out of his mind. He should be the Defensive Rookie of the Year front runner at this point.

The Cowboys' defense is one of the best in the NFL right now, and any offense will have a tough time facing them. It'll be intriguing to see if they can take the next step and stop a high-powered unit like the Saints in a few days.

Offensive Line Woes Are Gone

The offense has improved a lot the last couple of games. Although there is still a lot to work on, they're not struggling as they were in the first half of the season. The offensive line is a huge part of this. With Marc Colombo at OL coach, things have looked very different in Dallas.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Ezekiel Elliott: "I feel great. I feel fast. I feel physical. I feel very comfortable with the running schemes. We just got to keep rolling. That's what's important. We just got to keep rolling.

Ezekiel Elliott has been on a roll the past two weeks and his comments regarding how he feels about the running schemes shouldn't go unnoticed. The offensive line wasn't playing as well as they are right now earlier in the year. Dak Prescott is noticeably more comfortable in the pocket.

It's intriguing to know what will happen at left guard for the Cowboys. With Connor Williams injured, Xavier Su'a-Filo has done a good job filling in for him. Williams has the upside, but should Dallas mess up the mojo this OL has lately?

Dak Prescott Continues To Be Money In Clutch Si

Dak Prescott: Clutch QB

Dak Prescott continues to be criticized by fans while he keeps proving us why it's not that easy to move on from him. The guy is far from the perfect passer, yet he's been clutch time and time again. This time he did so on the road on an impressive two minute drill.

With 1:46 on the clock, Prescott marched his team down to the Falcons' 24 yard line. He managed to give his team another game winning drive in consecutive weeks. The Cowboys' young quarterback needed a confidence boost and this is perfect for him. He needs to keep it up if the team is going to finish the season as the NFC East champions.

Since entering the NFL, Dak has 12 game winning drives. As frustrating as his play is at times, he will not be easy to replace if the Cowboys decide to move on from this guy down the road. Hopefully, they don't have to. I, for one, believe Dak can be way better with a proper coaching staff. But that's a discussion for another day.

Now, it's time to celebrate the Cowboys' victory and get ready for a short week as the Cowboys play the Washington Redskins on Thursday.

Tell me what you think about "Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys Have a Championship Defense" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Geoff Swaim Needs Surgery, Should the Cowboys even use a Tight End?

John Williams

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Cowboys TE Geoff Swaim Quietly Exceeding Expectations? 1

Well, the injury woes continue to mount for the Dallas Cowboys with news coming down this evening that Tight End Geoff Swaim broke a bone in his wrist in the 22-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The injury will need surgery which will mean Swaim will be out a while, if not for the rest of the season.

David Helman on Twitter

Geoff Swaim broke a bone in his wrist yesterday and is going to need surgery. Sounds like it might not be season-ending, but he won't be available Thursday #cowboyswire

In previous seasons this wouldn't be much of a blow to the offense, but Geoff Swaim has been the only tight end that the Cowboys have ben able to rely on this season. Dalton Schultz is a rookie, Blake Jarwin's been inconsistent, and Rico Gathers still isn't fully trusted. With the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan's insistence on using a tight end, it seems there's a huge hole at the position heading into Sunday's first place showdown with the Washington Redskins.

But in reality, is there?

For weeks, I've been screaming for this team to use more 10 personnel (one running back and zero tight ends) as its primary passing formation because it gets their best pass catching weapons on the field at the same time. Swaim has been solid and consistent in his first year as a starter, but the rest of the tight end group has disappointed. So why even run a tight end out on the field.

The Dallas Cowboys have options that could replace the tight end in the passing game without actually using a tight end.

First, they could use Noah Brown as the de facto tight end. He's been one of the best blockers on the team in his first two seasons with the team and this is the type of role he's made for. Split him out wide and motion him in tight when you want to run. He can be a threat down the seem and in the red zone with his athleticism. He'd be a mismatch for the linebackers that try to cover him and could open space underneath for Cole Beasley. Brown is also a really good run blocker, so having him on the field doesn't negate what you want to do in the run game.

The other player the Cowboys coaching staff could work into more of the tight end route responsibilities is Allen Hurns. Hurns is a really good route runner, especially in the middle of the field, where the Dallas Cowboys haven't received a lot of production. You can put Hurns in as the fourth wide receiver and split him a couple of yards off the tackle to give him a cleaner release than a TE might get and have him run "Y-option," shallow post routes, or drags. He can be a threat in the passing game if put in situations where he can excel. See below for something Allen Hurns does really well.

Film Review: What's Up with Allen Hurns?

In fact, by going four wide receivers with Brown or Hurns on the field, it's possible the opposing defense is forced to run more of dime packages against the Dallas Cowboys 10 personnel.

Why would you want to get teams into dime packages?

Most NFL teams have two pretty good linebackers that they can deploy in nickel situations, but teams rarely have four corners that they can put on the field and feel really good about. So, if you can force teams to remove one of their 11 best players for a backup corner back or safety, you are already winning that matchup.

That matchup would also get you into much more favorable defensive fronts to run against. Even if the opposition put seven or eight in the box, it would be against smaller personnel like corners and safeties instead of a second linebacker.

Running 10 personnel as their base offense moving forward would be unconventional, but with an opportunity to take control of first place in the NFC East on Thanksgiving, now is not the time for conventionality.



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Cowboys WR Michael Gallup on Personal Leave; Team Offers Support

Jess Haynie

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Michael Gallup

Dallas Cowboys rookie receiver Michael Gallup suffered a personal tragedy on Sunday, being informed that his brother committed suicide. He is now on personal leave away from the team, and both Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett have given their full support to Gallup during this difficult time.

According to reports, Gallup was unaware of his brother's death until immediately after the Cowboys' win over the Atlanta Falcons. Michael did not return with the team to Dallas and remained in Atlanta to be with his family.

A formal statement was made by owner Jerry Jones yesterday regarding Gallup:

“Our team and our entire organization are deeply saddened by the news of Michael’s loss. His family is our family. We share in the grief and pain that comes with something so personal and tragic. We offer our support, care and comfort for Michael, and we ask that all of those who have sons and daughters and brothers and sisters join us in keeping Michael and his wonderful family in their thoughts and prayers.”

Throughout his time owning the Cowboys, Jerry has built a reputation for personal loyalty and compassion with his players. His head coach is no different.

As he addressed the media Monday, Jason Garrett did not get into football matters when addressing Gallup's situation:

“This is a very challenging time for him. We’ll take it moment by moment, day by day, and give him all of our love and all of our support.”

While Michael is certainly dealing with something far more important than football, his availability for Thursday's Thanksgiving game against the Washington Redskins does come into question.

The Cowboys have a short week to prepare for Washington, and Gallup has started their last five games. If the rookie has to sit, which seems probable given the timeframe, we can expect more playing time for Allen Hurns and Noah Brown.

Whatever happens happens on that front. Our focus is on Michael Gallup during this sad time, with him and his family in our collective thoughts as Cowboys fans and fellow humans.



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