Scoop: Cowboys Truth On Trading For Dolphins QB Fitzpatrick

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - A strange story - or maybe, even stranger, a non-story - is developing in Miami, where a newspaper report connects the Dallas Cowboys to a trade involving Miami Dolphins' 16-year veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

"False,'' a Cowboys source tells me in response to the report. "That doesn't even make any sense.''

The South Florida Sun Sentinel writes: "A logical trade partner could be the Dallas Cowboys, who lost quarterback Dak Prescott to a season-ending leg injury and just lost backup Andy Dalton to a concussion last Sunday.''

"Logical''? The logic escapes the front office of the Cowboys, who do find themselves scrambling for answers due to their 2-5 record, and are in a sort of NFL trade limbo ("buy or sell?) as the Nov. 3 deadline approaches.

But why would they scramble their way to the acquisition of a QB who is 38, is due an $8 million salary, and wouldn't figure to vault Dallas any higher than Andy Dalton?

The newspaper writes: "Perhaps, one of those (NFC East) teams believe Fitzpatrick, who has a 95.0 passer rating, could spark up some FitzMagic for a stretch run at the end of this season.''

I'm not privy to why the Dolphins wouldn't prefer to keep Fitzpatrick in Miami as a mentor to the new starter, prized rookie Tua Tagovailoa; would they really rather have a fifth-round pick (as the paper speculates) instead of the presence of Fitzpatrick?

But I am privy to Dallas thinking here. The Miami reporter seems to be under the impression that Dalton's injury is a long-term and debilitating one. Maybe he's confusing the season-ending ankle injury sustained by Dak Prescott with the concussion sustained by Dalton, who at worst figures to miss just this Sunday's game at Philadelphia?

Rookie QB Ben DiNucci is slated to serve as the No. 1 QB in practice this week here at The Star and is the likely QB for Sunday. But even if it is assumed that Fitzpatrick would somehow suddenly show up and give Dallas a better chance of winning that DiNucci ...

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Fitzpatrick cannot "suddenly show up.'' Because another factor in play, for this or any other trade: The NFL's COVID protocol requires a new player to test/bubble for five days before taking the field. A late-Tuesday trade for Fitzpatrick would put him in his new team's testing bubble for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and ... yup, Sunday.

Fitzpatrick's job in Miami is to serve as the bridge to the Tua Era. Dallas already employs such a player in Dalton, a 10-year vet with playoff credentials making a fraction ($3 million) of Fitzpatrick's salary to "bridge'' the Cowboys to 2021, when Dak Prescott is back in charge.

Fitzpatrick-to-Dallas is a fun idea because so much about Fitzpatrick is fun and because so little about this Cowboys season is fun. But whoever's idea it is ... it's not the Cowboys'.

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