When the Dallas Cowboys decided to use a fifth round pick on Western Kentucky’s Mike White, it became likely the team would go with 3 quarterbacks on the active roster in 2018.
White, known for his arm strength and poise, was expected to compete with Cooper Rush for the backup quarterback job during training camp, and potentially cement himself as a trade piece through his preseason performance.
In actuality, Mike White has not performed up to snuff, and has failed to provide much reason for the Cowboys to keep 3 quarterbacks at all. Especially as heated position battles elsewhere, such as defensive end, will likely result talented players being cut by camps end.
Defensive ends like Dorance Armstrong have earned their right to be on the final 53 man roster, and cutting talented edge rushers or receivers in favor of a development quarterback isn’t a great idea. Especially not when your starting quarterback is only in his third season.
Prescott is sort of a developmental QB in his own right, and while I understand the thought process behind stockpiling young quarterbacks, White hasn’t shown enough yet to “steal” a spot from a more deserving position player.
Plus, his competition for the QB2 job, Cooper Rush, is coming off a strong 2017 preseason, and has looked better than White thus far in 2018.
During his home debut for the Cowboys, White completed 50% of his passes for just 76 yards on 4.8 yards per attempt. He also took two sacks, though the backup offensive line did him absolutely no favors. Without Dak Prescott in the game, the offense has looked incredibly lethargic. An already less-than-explosive offense has been downright bad when going to their second unit.
This speaks to a bigger roster construction issue which has reared its head during the second halves of preseason games thus far, but White hasn’t been great either.
It’s possible that the Cowboys could keep Mike White on the practice squad, though he could potentially be snatched up before making it there. Based on his performance thus far, and the current make up of the Cowboys’ roster, practice squad is the way to go for White.
This doesn’t mean he’s a wasted pick, or that he has no future with the Cowboys, but he is pretty clearly not ready to contribute to the 2018 version of this team. Maybe he will overtake Rush for the backup job in time, but that time is not now.