There is no questioning what is going on at the top of the quarterback depth chart for the Dallas Cowboys. Dak Prescott will be in the first year of a four-year, $160 million contract during the 2021 NFL season. What about the backup role?
When speaking on Tuesday to reporters before the 2021 NFL Draft, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy expressed how the team 'definitely' wants to add more backup quarterback competition.
The Cowboys relied on Andy Dalton as their primary backup last season but he has since departed for the Chicago Bears in NFL free agency. He landed a one-year deal worth $10 million in addition to getting the starting role, both of which were not going to happen in Dallas.
Now, Dallas has Garrett Gilbert, Ben DiNucci, and Cooper Rush as potential backup quarterback options currently under contract. With that level of talent, it's justifiable for the Cowboys to want to add more into the mix to maximize results.
Dallas' most involved backup quarterback that is still currently on the roster is DiNucci. He appeared in three games (one start) and completed 23-of-43 (53.5%) pass attempts resulting in no touchdowns or interceptions. It wasn't a robust sample size, but it wasn't impressive, to say the least.
The rehabbing Dak is "the guy,'' of course. And by the way, the rehabbing after ankle surgery is going well, as CowboysSI.com has reported for months.
“Where we sit now, I couldn’t be happier,'' COO Stephen Jones said, adding that Dak will be "110-percent ready to go.''
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Said McCarthy: “He is right where he needs to be for this time. I had a chance to witness him work out Saturday. I was very impressed with the progress he’s making.
"He’s doing all the normal movements that you look to do.”
If the Cowboys seek to add a developmental option to grow into being a long-term backup, the 2021 NFL Draft will have some options. Dallas has too many roster holes to expect an early round selection being used to address a non-pressing need. (Dallas does have a good handle on Kellen Mond, who might be a mid-rounder, and on Sam Ehlinger and Shane Buechele, who could be available later.)
Or ... there are still some free agent quarterbacks that are available, including names like Nick Mullens, Brian Hoyer, Robert Griffin III, Blaine Gabbert, and Blake Bortles, to name a few. Keep in mind, it wasn't until May 2 of last year that Dallas signed Andy Dalton, so this is still a possibility.
That was Stephen Jones' point when he noted, essentially, that improving the roster is a 365-day job. If Dallas wants to give McCarthy his "competition'' via the NFL Draft? It's a job for the next few days.