Examining The Cowboys' Options For QB Depth Behind Dak Prescott

FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys have a starting quarterback while Tony Romo is sidelined, and his name is Dak Prescott – they've said as much.

Assuming the broken bone in Romo's back sidelines him for the start of the regular season, team executive vice president Stephen Jones said he felt good about the rookie assuming that responsibility.

"We look forward to Dak being our starting quarterback Week 1, which it looks like it's going to be the case if Tony can't go," Jones said.

Prescott has earned it, given the way he's played through three preseason games and a slew of training camp practices. But that doesn't mean the Cowboys' quarterback questions are answered.

With Romo projected to be out roughly 6-to-10 weeks, they're going to need to consider the depth chart behind him. Jameill Showers has handled the role of No. 3 quarterback capably in the time since Kellen Moore broke his leg. But are the Cowboys willing to move forward with him as the backup for the start of the regular season?

That remains to be seen. Jones said Saturday night that the Cowboys will take a look at veteran quarterbacks during the coming week.

"We'll just see. There's a lot of ways to acquire players," he said. "There's quarterbacks that are out there and don't have a home right now, and then there's quarterbacks that other teams have right now – of course we can't talk about those players."

The pickings are a bit slim as it stands right now – just as they were when Moore first broke his leg and ramped up the conversation about the team's quarterback depth. Fortunately for the Cowboys, Romo's injury has slightly better timing, considering that the preseason is about to come to a close.

NFL clubs must cut their rosters to 75 by Tuesday afternoon, and the final cut to 53 is on Saturday, Sept. 3. The Atlanta Falcons have already released quarterback Sean Renfree, and many more should be following him in the week to come. If the Cowboys aren't satisfied by the free agent market, there's always the oft-discussed possibility of a trade.

"We'll look at what our options are," Jones said. "It is something that we'll look at, in terms of looking at a veteran-type quarterback."

There's also the matter of Thursday night, when the Cowboys conclude their preseason against the Houston Texans. It will be interesting to see how the coaching staff handles that scenario, given that starters typically don't play in the final preseason game – and Prescott would now be considered a starter.
That could leave a lot of work to do for Showers, who is the only other quarterback currently on the roster.

"Right now we'll plan on him more than likely taking the majority of the reps," Jones said. "But if we happen to acquire a quarterback between now and then, then I'm sure we'll try to work him in as well."

Showers hasn't had many opportunities to showcase himself this preseason, but this latest setback for Romo can only help his odds of making the final roster – not to mention the backup spot behind Prescott.

"Jameill has done a great job. He's working hard and fitting in here," Jones said. "We certainly think a lot of him, and I think he'll be around this organization. But at the same time, if we see a quarterback that can come in and help us this week, then we'll look at that."


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