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“Now or Never” for Dallas to Sign a Veteran QB?

Cowboys Headlines - "Now or Never" for Dallas to Sign a Veteran QB?

Dallas Cowboys

“Now or Never” for Dallas to Sign a Veteran QB?

After backup quarterback Kellen Moore suffered a broken ankle last week the Cowboys were looking for veteran help. They reportedly missed out on Nick Foles and were inquiring about the Browns’ Josh McCown.

Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Sophomores: QB Jameill Showers 1After a few days, Dallas announced that they were suspending their search for a veteran quarterback. They’re going to see what rookie Dak Prescott and second-year prospect Jameil Showers have to offer.

It could prove to be a very shrewd move. Giving those young players more first and second-team reps in August will only help them now and long term.

However, if neither guy is ready to take advantage of the opportunity, Dallas may end up repeating the mistakes of last season. It may be too late to find an alternative.

Last year, Dallas went into the season with Brandon Weeden as the backup. They had so much faith in Weeden that, immediately after Tony Romo broke his collarbone, they traded for veteran Matt Cassel. Weeden was undermined before he could even start his first game.

That move for Cassel is important to remember because, at that time, you couldn’t have asked for a better “on paper” option. Check out Cassel’s resume prior to 2015:

  • Cowboys Blog - Jason Garrett: Matt Cassel To Start on SaturdayCareer passer rating above 80.0
  • Career W/L record of 35-37 as starter
  • 6’5″ and 230 lbs
  • 2008 – Led Patriots to 11 wins
  • 2010 – Led Chiefs to playoffs

Nick Foles’ profile was hardly much better. Josh McCown’s is roughly the same. At this point, Dallas can’t add anyone who is appreciably better than Cassel was supposed to be.

Granted, not every quarterback can play for any offensive coordinator. Cassel may have simply been a bad fit for Scott Linehan’s system. Also, Cassel didn’t have the benefit of Dez Bryant playing healthy and at his full level.

Still, Cassel had one of the league’s top-five running backs and two QB-friendly receiving options in Jason Witten and Cole Beasley. And yet, this previously solid QB barely looked functional as a Cowboy.

Though there are other factors to consider, one of the primary reasons for Cassel’s failure was that he didn’t join the Cowboys until Week 3.

This time of year we’re in right now, training camp and preseason, is not for nothing. Think about how many hours and how many reps Cassel missed in our offense. How could that not effect him?

Cowboys Headlines - "Now or Never" for Dallas to Sign a Veteran QB? 1Dallas’ plan to ride with Prescott and Showers is noble and potentially very rewarding. If it doesn’t go well, though, then they’re back in the same predicament as last season. Renewing the effort to trade for McCown or going after any other option would give that new veteran the same handicap that Cassel had.

Hopefully, Dallas sees enough in the first preseason game to know what they have in the young players. That would still leave three weeks and three more exhibition games to help get a new guy ready.

Otherwise, if Tony Romo misses more time in 2016, the Cowboys may have screwed themselves all over again.

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!

4 Comments
  • George Johnson

    I have to laugh. K Moore was ready and would have been a good backup QB for T Romo. He would most likely have shown what he could do in preseason games. If he had to play for T Romo he could have won some games and had good QB stats. The sports writers did not think K Moore could do the job even though the Dallas coaches did and said so. This seems to be because of his physical limitations including not having a real strong arm. Now the sports writer think Showers or Prescott can possibly do the job. What a joke. They are an undrafted glorified rookie and a fourth round rookie. They are greenhorns. The only way one of them could possibly be ready to play in 2016 is if they are a very quick learner/developer and probably the next franchise QB. It seems the sports writers don't know a lot about what it takes to be an effective QB in the NFL.

    • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

      Did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, we're looking for more than just doing the job? Tony Romo is old and getting older by the game, and QBs aren't growing on trees. Moore can do the backup job, but EVERY TEAM IN THE LEAGUE HAS SAID HE CAN'T START! So we're not looking to "practice fucked," but rather toward Showers and Prescott BECAUSE they're green, BECAUSE they have the potential still to do more than just the backup job. Come off it bro, the backup QB isn't special. Most coaches are happy if that guy just doesn't lose games, let alone win any of them on his own. But what do I know? I'm one of these "wacko nut-jobs" who thinks Tony Romo is a top-5 QB since 2000.

  • http://PigskinHub.com/ Jess Haynie

    George, nothing in this article was negative about Kellen Moore or what he would've done as our backup. Did you even read it, or did you just copy & paste your same old rhetoric?

  • http://RJOchoaShow.com RJ Ochoa

    "If he had to play for T Romo he could have won some games and had good QB stats." George, I'm all for objectivity and seeing what there is to see here. But did he not play for Romo last season? Producing zero wins and mediocre stats (albeit an impressive final game from a statistical standpoint)?

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