SI Insider: Evaluating the Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Situation

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Madelyn Burke: Depth at the quarterback position is definitely a priority, and the Cowboys know that from experience. Joining me now is the MMQB's Albert Breer. Albert, some things were a little surprised at the signing of Andy Dalton, but Dalton says, hey, he's here to help Dak Prescott. How much of this signing is representative of what the Cowboys have gone through in recent years at that position? [00:00:25][18.7]

Albert Breer: I think one hundred percent of it. Madelyn, to be honest with you. And really, for Stephen Jones, for Jerry Jones, for Will McClay, the guys who've been there. They got a real life example of it. I'm in the middle of the last decade. You know, in 2014 had a great year. I was here they went 12-4 if not for the "Dez caught it" situation than they would've been in the NFC title game. And coming out of that they really felt like they were in a championship window. The next year, Tony Romo gets hurt and they go 4-12 as a result of it because they weren't prepared with backup quarterbacks. 2016, they draft Dak Prescott in the fourth round strike gold. Romo gets hurt again. What happens? They go 13-3. And you can really kind of put those two years up against one another and you can see the lesson learned by the Cowboys brass: When you feel like you're in a championship window, you can't be too careful at the quarterback position. 

And really, I think when you want to take an example from from from more recent times, look at last year with the Saints, you know, if the Saints don't have Teddy Bridgewater sitting there behind Drew Brees. Maybe they're not in a position to make the playoffs the way that they did. Didn't go well for them when they got there, but maybe they're not in a position to make the playoffs at the end of the year that they were in because Teddy Bridgewater was able to go 5-0. And so they being prepared to beat behind your starting quarterback something that really is important to the Cowboys based on what they went went through a few years ago, and especially because they feel like their team right now is in a championship window. If Dak Prescott were to miss four or six or eight weeks, they wouldn't want to lose a year of so many of their great players primes.

Madelyn Burke: Dak Prescott, of course, a young quarterback on a franchise tag this year. Is he still the priority as the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys in the future?

Albert Breer: Absolutely. And this may give the Cowboys a little bit of leverage. I don't want to completely dismiss that notion that the Cowboys can now say to Dak's people: well, if you don't want to show up for training camp and he doesn't have to show up because he hasn't signed his tender yet, they can't fine him. Then, we're gonna be okay for the time being. Ultimately, they want to get him signed to a long-term deal. And really, I think the divide here, as much as anything else, is about the team saying to the player, well, we want to be able to continue to put great teams around you. And there's obviously uncertainty with the salary cap going forward with the revenue uncertainty based on a situation that we're all in right now. 

So they're trying to tell Dak Prescott, we want to continue to put a great team around you. And Dak, I think rightfully is saying to himself, well, wait a second, you really want to do this, you should take care of me a year ago. I incurred that extra year of injury risk, and now you've got to take care of me. And so I eventually find that middle ground, Madelyn. I think signing Andy Dalton does give the Cowboys a little bit more time to maybe do it. Maybe they won't be as in as much of a rush to get him done before training camp. But certainly I think that Dak Prescott is going to be the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys for the foreseeable future.