(Editor's Note: This week, the DallasCowboys.com staff debates whether the team should feel comfortable with the current backup quarterbacks behind Tony Romo. Click here for Bryan Broaddus' Point.)
IRVING, Texas– Jerry Jones recently gave a vote of confidence for Kellen Moore as Tony Romo's prospective backup in 2016.
Jason Garrett said Moore has earned the right to compete for the No. 2 spot.
But if we know anything about the Cowboys' front office in recent years, it's they subscribe to the 365 Theory: player acquisition is a year-round deal. Stephen Jones says it constantly. You must always look for ways to improve your team. When Romo got hurt two weeks into last season, the team traded for Matt Cassel – not just for depth, but competition for Brandon Weeden. Cassel took over four games later and started seven games until Moore replaced him.
My counterpoint isn't that the Cowboys are too complacent at backup quarterback, because I don't anything is carved in stone just yet. It's mid-May, y'all.
Like with any position on the roster, I think they'll keep their eyes open in free agency for veteran competition – maybe all the way through training camp depending on how Moore fares.
Stephen Jones indicated as much in late April when asked about the team's interest in drafting a developmental prospect: "That doesn't mean that we won't end up with another veteran quarterback in camp before all of this is said and done," he said. "We'll continue to make this a work in progress here."
Now, do I believe Moore has the inside track to the backup role? Yes. He did some good things in a three-game audition this past December/January, and he has the support of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who coached him previously in Detroit. Linehan looks beyond Moore's modest height and arm strength. He sees a guy who won 50 games in college and has the intangibles to move an offense down the field in his system. Even with Dez Bryant out of the lineup, we saw flashes from Moore – along with seven turnovers in three games.
As Bryan said, the Cowboys looked at the free agent landscape in March and apparently decided there wasn't a quarterback on the market they believed to be clearly better than Moore, or good enough to command significant guaranteed money – which would have essentially ended any possible competition right there.
But the Cowboys don't have a bunch of guaranteed money tied up in Moore, who's signed through 2016, either.
Dak Prescott's development this summer will be one of the team's most intriguing storylines. The fourth-round pick has never played in pro-style offense, but the Cowboys love his approach to football. Same goes for Jameill Showers. Could either legitimately challenge for the No. 2 spot? I think the team would prefer to bring along Prescott slowly, but Garrett likely doesn't want Moore feeling too comfortable. Competition makes everybody better, in his mind.
Last year's backup plan didn't work with a couple veterans (Cassel, Weeden) who had 104 combined career starts. Moore has two.
Looks like they'll give him a fair chance to win the backup job. And their new draft pick isn't going anywhere.
But it's hard to believe the front office won't keep an open mind for future competition, especially if they don't like what they see in Oxnard and preseason.