Tony Romo will no longer play quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, that’s one of the things we know about the team heading into the off-season. That leaves one, count’em, one, signed quarterback on the roster for 2017 (no, Jameill Showers doesn’t count).
It’s just Dak Prescott and nothing else. So now what?
We know the Cowboys won’t stay that way and neither Mark Sanchez, nor Kellen Moore is capable of being the backup to Prescott. Both might be nice mentors for Dak, but they are best suited for third string roles. Even though Prescott is much sturdier than Romo at this stage of their careers, injuries can happen at any time and Dallas cannot be caught shorthanded at quarterback. A solid backup must be brought in or the team will be in the same position as they were when Romo got hurt in 2015.
In looking at the list of things to do this off-season, finding a competent second-string QB seems to have been forgotten when it should rank right near the top of list. The Cowboys cannot put themselves in a position to have no chance at winning games again if their starting quarterback goes down, that lesson needs to be learned.
So who can be brought in to ensure the Cowboys can stay afloat if something were to happen to Prescott? Here are a few names to remember.
Josh McCown: The recently released veteran would be near the top of the list. The Cowboys, especially Jason Garrett, really like experience in their backup quarterback and McCown fits the bill. There isn’t much he hasn’t seen in his time in the league and it reminds me when Jon Kitna backed up Romo. McCown has the arm to sling it and is fearless throwing the ball down the field, which would keep the passing game honest. The only downside here is that he gets hurt all the time and going to quarterback number three in a season in never a recipe for success.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Another veteran who has seen it all. Fitzpatrick is just one year removed from a successful season, he has the toughness and the savvy to lead the Cowboys if pressed into action. He doesn’t always protect the ball, but with the offensive line and running game of the Cowboys, he wouldn’t have to take as many chances as he has in past stops. Fitzpatrick might be the perfect fit if the salary demands aren’t too high.
Brian Hoyer: Someone who has played good football on some bad teams, but would be a good option in a pinch. He’s another tough quarterback who has a good arm and no problems taking a hit or two in the pocket. Dallas passed on him last year so you have to wonder if they just don’t like the fit.
EJ Manuel: This might be the off-the-radar name, but it might make the most sense. Manuel’s athleticism and style matches what the Dallas offense does with Prescott, especially as a runner. Manuel lost his job to Tyrod Taylor, but Manuel can play. A change in scenery might do wonders for the former first-round pick and the Cowboys could be a very sweet landing spot.
Matt McGloin: McGloin has done some good things when he has been asked to play and even though he doesn’t have a ton of experience, the Cowboys did see him up close and personal a few years ago. He’s a smart quarterback who might be a tad undervalued and won’t cost much. That is right in the Cowboys’ wheelhouse.
These are just a few names the Cowboys might look into and each of them would soften the blow of a Dak Prescott injury. The biggest thing the team can do is not be caught with their pants down again if anything should happen to their starting quarterback.
No one, not the team or the fans, deserves to go through that hell again.