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Should Robert Griffin III be a Backup QB Option for Cowboys?

The Dallas Cowboys may have Dak Prescott back in 2021 but lost backup quarterback Andy Dalton to the Chicago Bears. If the team wants another experienced veteran behind Dak going forward, could Robert Griffin III be a good option to consider?

Griffin has spent the last three years as a backup with the Baltimore Ravens. He only has two starts during that time; one in a meaningless 2019 Week 17 finale with multiple starters sitting, and another when the Ravens were nearly wiped out by COVID-19 during the middle of 2020.

These limited and sporadic opportunities have left RG3 with an unimpressive stat line with Baltimore. But with so many mitigating factors at work, could there still be a quality backup QB here who could improve the position for Dallas in 2021?

While Ben DiNucci, Garrett Gilbert, and Cooper Rush could make for an interesting competition at training camp, how much confidence can you have in any of them if extended playing time is needed? Prescott is still coming off a major leg injury and his backup can’t be taken lightly.

Many are hoping for Alex Smith sign with Dallas as QB2 and that is still a possibility. But after helping lead Washington the playoffs last year, Smith may be hoping for at least puncher’s chance at a starting role with his next team.

Robert Griffin probably isn’t aiming so high at this point. Unlike Smith, he hasn’t had a chance to really show what he can do in several years.

Still, this is the guy who put up one of the best rookie season for a quarterback in NFL history in 2012. He’s still mobile at 31 years old and would be a good compliment to Prescott as a relief option.

In his two starts, RG3 has had 50 and 68 rushing yards in each of those games. Preserving the threat of the run from the QB position would be valuable for Dallas’ offense.

Like last year, the Cowboys may be waiting to pull the trigger on a free agent QB until after the 2021 NFL Draft. They didn’t sign Dalton until about a week after the draft last year and could be holding off on Griffin, Alex Smith, or any other veteran options until they see how this draft unfolds.

Waiting is a dangerous game, of course, with 31 other teams to worry about. If Dallas doesn’t strike soon on one of these veteran passers, they may be stuck hoping for the best from their in-house options.

Only Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore can say for sure how much value is seen Robert Griffin III for the Cowboys. But as long as he’s seen as a scheme fit, Griffin’s experience and mobility make him one of the more attractive options left in free agency. Bringing the former Baylor star back to Texas could be a smart move for Dallas in 2021.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by 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!


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  1. If we are looking at QB’s like that we have one that left the game to early and is probably better than any option. Why not reach out to Vick.

  2. I am THRILLED with your suggestion today, regarding the possibility of RG111 playing for the Cowboys!! I am an unlikely football fan, with little or no Sport Cred. I am in my seventies, widowed, mother of 4 grown high achiever kids. My 3 boys and my husband played sports in HS, but they all chose non-sport professional careers. My youngest son played ice Hockey in National tournaments at Phillips Exeter, but chose not to play at Brown University or at Brown Med School. He is an ER Doctor with an MD/Ph.D, in Oregon now. I am the Sport fan. I have Masters Degrees from Dartmouth and Harvard U., Graduate School of Education, in Psychology. I am a Teacher. I fell in love with RG111, when my husband took a job in a U.S. gov. Lab in VA. I had been a Patriot fan in N.E. I became a Washington Fan, and fell in love with RG111 as a talented QB, and as a defender of his when he was a young “punching bag” for the elder Coach Shanahan’s Ego! As a teacher, who looks for purpose, talent, and learning & Performance potential in students, I saw 1st hand, what damage Shanahan did to RG111’s confidence & natural talent. I followed RG111 to the Browns & the Ravens. He is a good & decent, hardworking Guy, with both great natural running & passing talent , who has been handicapped by the Win-Obsessed mentality and lack of a Teacher knowledge and approach to potential. I have watched RG111’s Amazing Baylor and Washington videos, and I know his talent is not the problem. He no longer has the confidence or macho attitude to believe in himself, & to know how to “Play” the psychological. Game of dealing with Coaches and the media, to succeed. If he goes to a team with a Coach who gives him a chance to play more than 2 plays, and sees his potential, I absolutely believe he will thrive again. As a teacher, it hurts me to see the Talent, Confidence, Potential, & Livelihood go to waste, because of the LACK of intelligent Leadership and Vision of a Coach who doesn’t fully understand his/her role in seeing and Developing natural talent, as well as the importance of the Psychological importance of giving a player the support and fair shot at success they are capable of. I have even thought someone like Drew B., who has talent and mental confidence to succeed could do worlds for RG111. Thank you so much for your visionary insight, savvy, wisdom, and courage to speak out about a match for RG11 that would take him back to Texas, and possibly SAVE a Great Player, and good Guy’s career and Future

  3. I wouldn’t mind RG coming to the Cowboys! The Redskins road him hard and put him up wet which about cost him his career! I think with the right coaching he could be a good backup!

  4. Great player! I think his confidence level will revive playing back in Texas. Plus a great move for the Cowboys.

  5. I haven’t thought of RG III , i think imo we should just stick with Gilbert as backup , let him develop and showcase what he can do , feel bringing in RG III would stint Gilbert’s development a bit , so i think stay the same

  6. No on RG3 and no on Vick. If Dak to gets hurt again for an extended time, time to look for more talented long term solutions. RG and Vick are not it. Time does not stand still.

    Still can’t believe they gave Dak a no trade clause AND a short term deal.

  7. RG III , will be a good pickup as a backup QB. He have the experience, skill, knowledge of what it take to play in the NFL as a QB. His talent do not need to be wasted. Not have a great backup QB, when the primary QB get injured and miss the rest of the season. Why have 4 QB changes and only win one game.

  8. McKool, if Dak gets injured again and misses out for the season and doesn’t come back , we’re screwed no matter who’s our QB , Gilbert showed a lot of potential in that Pittsburgh game last season , Pitt was the #1 Defense at that time .

  9. Nah … but go ahead and send him a playbook and tell him he’s on-call in the event of a mid-season injury to Dak, he could get called if said injury is a long one. Meanwhile keep those reps for Gilbert/DiNucci/???

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