(Editor's Note: Over the next month, the staff of DallasCowboys.com is looking to answer the 20 biggest questions facing the team heading into 2021. Today, we'll try to find out who will be Dak Prescott's backup in 2021.)
FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys made a rare move last offseason and acquired an established, experienced quarterback to back up Dak Prescott, who at the time, had never missed a game.
Andy Dalton's signing proved to be a worthwhile investment although the Cowboys were still unable to make the playoffs after Dak's injury in Week 5.
But with Dalton now in Chicago, and Dak seemingly ready to return to action by the start of camp, let's check out the backup spot again.
The writers try to figure out who will be the backup this year in Dallas.
11) Who Will Be No. 2 QB Behind Dak?
Nick Eatman: I'd like to think it's Garrett Gilbert. I was one of the people intrigued enough by his Pittsburgh game to think he could be a viable No. 2. I'm not saying he played outstanding because his team still lost and he had a crucial mistake by throwing a red-zone interception that probably cost the Cowboys the game. But he was prepared, he was efficient and he moved the ball and that's what you want from a backup. Right now, I would say Gilbert and DiNucci get most of the preseason reps so they can evaluate the position better. But they'll keep an eye on the waiver wire and my hunch is someone with more experience will come along and the Cowboys will add them before the season begins.
Mickey Spagnola: So far undecided between Garrett Gilbert, Ben DiNucci and Cooper Rush. If anyone has an edge, I'd say it's Gilbert, just because he's been kicking round the NFL since the Rams selected him in the sixth round of the 2014 draft. This technically will only be his fourth NFL season, though has kicked around the majority of the time on practice squads and his one start last year for the Cowboys was his NFL first. At this point, DiNucci (second year, one start) and Rush (third year, no starts, one NFL completion) are battling for the third spot. But if the offseason is any indication, the Cowboys still have wandering eyes and the eventual backup QB might not be on the 90-man roster just yet. They continued to work out guys such as former Packer/Cardinal Brett Hundley and Case Cookus of Northern Arizona. There also is a good chance a veteran with more experience might land on the waiver wire during camp. Most unsettled position on team.
Rob Phillips: Garrett Gilbert while glancing over his shoulder. The Cowboys paid Andy Dalton $3 million to be the No. 2 guy last year, but salary cap space is tighter this year and a guy with Dalton's experience isn't available as a backup option very often. The Cowboys have made no secret that they'll stay on the lookout for competition behind Dak Prescott, so you could answer that the backup isn't currently on the roster and you might be right by early September. Out of the current group, I'll go with Gilbert, who has a history working with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore before Dallas and looked good in one start last season.