When Andy Dalton signed with the Cowboys ahead of the 2020 season, the goal was career rehabilitation. His time as the starter in Cincinnati had come to an end, and he joined a loaded Dallas offense with the hopes that he could put good play on film if Dak Prescott were to go down.
Well…he sort of got what he wanted? Dalton played about as well as you could've hoped for as a veteran backup quarterback, and recently signed with the Chicago Bears to become their starter in 2021.
Back in Dallas, the Cowboys now have a very unproven and shaky quarterback room behind their franchise guy Dak Prescott.
Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush, and Ben DiNucci are all under contract for the 2021 season. But none of them have done much to prove they deserve to be the bonafide backup heading into the year. Gilbert had the best 2020 performance of any of the three guys mentioned here, but that's not exactly a high bar to clear.
Given that Dak Prescott is expected to be completely healthy for this season, the Cowboys may be able to get away with these inexperienced backups in 2021. Outside of a freak injury last year, Prescott has been an iron-man of sorts, never missing a start.
They would be silly to trust their QB2 spot to one of these three without any competition, though.
There are some intriguing names out there for the Cowboys to consider.
Former Texas Longhorn Colt McCoy is a guy who Cowboys fans have been following as a backup possibility for quite some time, and he is currently a free agent. Alex Smith could provide an extra layer of leadership and inspiration to the team, while also guiding Dak Prescott on his own return from a vicious injury. Then there's guys like Robert Griffin III, who have become comfortable as steady backups at this point in their careers.
Regardless of who the Cowboys land on as their QB2 for 2021, they should look to add another piece through free agency who can compete for the job this Summer.