There is no hotter name in backup quarterback conversations right now than Robert Griffin III, currently with the Baltimore Ravens. After a rough preseason with their own reserve passers, should the Dallas Cowboys go after RG3?
With Joe Flacco as the starter and Lamar Jackson the future in Baltimore, Griffin could be had for the right price. It is unlikely Baltimore will simply cut him, though, given the current buzz and need for quality backup QBs around the league.
Dallas has no such luxury on their depth chart right now. Cooper Rush looked nothing like his 2017 self and Mike White looked like a fifth-round rookie is supposed to. Neither inspires confidence if something were to happen to Dak Prescott.
Before we go any further, I’ll admit that I’m being a little hypocritical here. Just a few days ago, I wrote about how bringing in some veteran backup would be a potential progress stopper for Rush or White.
I stand by that argument if your organizational strategy is to develop a pipeline of QB talent. If you want to be able to one day flip these guys into draft picks, you can’t give up on them so quickly.
But if your bigger priority right now is making sure the 2018 season doesn’t totally fall apart if Dak Prescott gets injured, then Rush and White don’t look like good insurance policies. That’s why Dallas should be interested in Robert Griffin III.
One thing RG3 gives you that few other guys could is someone to match Dak Prescott’s mobile playing style. It’s not every day you can replace the kind of QB, and Griffin would allow the Cowboys to play somewhat similarly to how things run with Dak in the lineup.
Another plus is Griffin’s Texas roots, having grown up in a small town between Austin and Dallas and going to college at Baylor. It would be a nice homecoming for the player and a treat for local fans.
More importantly, though, is just the simple fact that this guy was once one of the most exciting players in the NFL. His rookie season was phenomenal, something that’s been almost forgotten now after several difficult years.
Griffin’s reputation is in shambles, but that’s partly because of two of the most dysfunctional organizations in the NFL. Washington mishandled him horribly, and then a change in coaches led to him losing even more favor.
Robert then landed in Cleveland, where nothing good grows. How can a guy get his career back on track with teams who stay perpetually derailed?
RG3 spent 2017 away from the NFL, getting remarried and starting a new family. If his play this preseason with Baltimore is any indication, Griffin is ready to resume his football career with new focus and confidence.
Robert completed over 65% of his passes last month, going 27/41 for 243 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also ran it 11 times for 52 yards.
Not only would Griffin give Dallas a probable upgrade over the current backups, but his experience could be a benefit to Dak Prescott. He lived the highs of rookie stardom and then saw it all crash down.
Dallas should be interested, but the question is what do the Ravens want in return? They may value RG3 as a mentor to Lamar Jackson and depth behind Joe Flacco for the same reasons that the Cowboys could want him.
If you’re making this move it’s because you think Griffin could save your season at some point. That’s worth something, and Dallas will probably have to give up at least a fifth-round pick to beat other teams’ offers.
If a bidding war starts then the Cowboys will likely back out quickly. They’re not ones to overspend, be it in money or draft picks, given their recent history and fiscal management.
There will be other veterans that Dallas could consider as upgrades over Cooper Rush and Mike White. But none of them have Griffin’s intrigue when it comes to both past success and possible upside. He’s still just 28 and could have a great comeback story just waiting to be written.
Obviously, we wouldn’t want him to ever have to play. Backup QBs are like the airbags in your car; you want them to work great, but you never want to see them deployed.
Dak Prescott is highly durable from what we’ve seen so far, but anything can happen. And the last thing Cowboys fans want to live through is another season like 2015, where the backup QBs offered zero hope after the starter was lost to injury.
Dallas has a roster ready to compete for a championship. They should help their chances with a better insurance policy on their QB depth chart.
Right now, Robert Griffin III is the only guy I see out there who could provide that clear upgrade.