Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott has been entrenched as the starting signal-caller for quite some time. Perhaps it's time that Jerry Jones and the team's brass brought in a proven starter such as Marcus Mariota to get a quarterback battle, or controversy, going in Dallas.
Prescott is a lightning bolt for debate among NFL fans. Some feel he's overrated and pads his numbers with meaningless fourth-quarter stats accumulated in “garbage” time. Others see him as a two-time Pro Bowler, which is something that doesn't grow on trees.
On the other hand, it could be argued Prescott's status has never been challenged. The only time he wasn't the starter was due to injury. Mariota could certainly provide a spark in Dallas if Jones signs him with the opportunity to at least challenge Prescott. Would this create a media circus? Likely. However, as we all know, Jones is no stranger to controversy.
Marcus Mariota would bring another dimension to the Cowboys
Mariota spent the last two seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders as Derek Carr's backup. The former second overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft could be a hot commodity this offseason. A team looking for a stop-gap solution or those looking for an insurance policy will likely be suitors.
Not to make excuses for Mariota, but the quarterback has had daunting circumstances for most of his career. Mariota had two head coaches in his first three seasons as an NFL quarterback. In addition, he had four offensive coordinators in his first five years. Having found some stability in Vegas, Mariota could be looking for one more shot to be a starter or at least compete for the opportunity.
Prescott's detractors might be thrilled to see their team bring in a legitimate quarterback to light a fire under him. When healthy, Mariota can make things happen with his legs, especially in the red zone. Mariota's worst-case scenario is that he doesn't win the starting job from Prescott, which is likely to happen. Instead, the “flying Hawaiian” can be used like the Raiders used him in short-yardage situations, giving defenses another option to prepare for.
Depending on how the Cowboys address the state of their finances, bringing in Mariota would cost anywhere from $4 to $8 million on a one-year deal.
The team could also take their chances and draft a quarterback this year, but their picks might be better used elsewhere considering how weak the quarterback class is. Would Jones drop this amount of coin for a backup? We'll see.