With the NFL offseason now officially underway, it's never too early to start focusing on the next order of business, which is free agency. The Cowboys have 20 unrestricted free agents who can sign with other teams starting on March 9, unless they strike a new deal with the Cowboys before then.
Over the next two weeks, DallasCowboys.com staff writers will break down each free agent, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses and the possibilities of a return in 2017.
Today, we'll continue the series with quarterback Mark Sanchez.
What's The Deal: Obviously, the Cowboys have some other decisions to make at the quarterback position that will undoubtedly overshadow news concerning Sanchez and/or Kellen Moore. But, this is a domino-effect and so whatever happens with Romo, will most certainly open the door for the Cowboys to need a backup behind Dak Prescott. Judging his only real game from 2016, Sanchez wouldn't figure to return to the Cowboys in 2017. He didn't play well against the Eagles, completing 9 of 17 passes for 85 yards and two interceptions. However, he didn't have a full complement of the first-team offense around him. The Cowboys will need an experienced backup and Sanchez does fit that description. Plus, his relationship with Prescott and his ability to help from the sidelines could be a bigger factor in this equation than some might realize.
Cowboys Highlight: Not much to pick from here. He only played in two games, and only saw extensive action in the season finale against the Eagles. He did connect on a perfectly-thrown 33-yard pass to Cole Beasley early in the third quarter. But Sanchez and the offense failed to score a touchdown despite having a first down inside the Eagles' 10. But Sanchez might have other deficiencies in his game but he's got great touch on the ball, especially down the field.
Argument to Keep: If the Cowboys can get him for a relatively-cheap price, they'd be getting a veteran backup who not only has 72 career starts in the regular season but has a 4-2 playoff record as well. His relationship with Prescott can't be overlooked.
Argument to Let Go: He made $2 million last season and only played in two games and wasn't that effective in either of them. Backup quarterbacks with experience aren't easy to find but if the Cowboys find a cheaper option, that's a way to save significant cap space.
Bryan Broaddus' Scout's Take: Was brought in as a bridge player to help Dak Prescott with his development. Knew his role on the team. Ran the scout team and was available for Prescott if he had questions. High work ethic in the way he handled his snaps on the scout team. Was prepared to play if needed with limited snaps each week. There are two areas where Sanchez struggles the most – his arm talent and anticipation. He has trouble getting the ball to a receiver especially in a tight window situation. His ball tends to float or hang giving defenders a chance to react. Without the arm strength, it's hard for him to be late on throws and have any success. He tends to hold the ball entirely too long. All I remember from the Philadelphia game was saying to myself "Throw it…". There is no quickness to his game and for a quarterback this is a big problem. I would not be surprised to see this front office move on from him and explore other better options for that backup role.
Take a look at all the 2017 Dallas Cowboys free agents.
Free Agency Overview
- Explosive Back When Healthy, Dunbar Still Unproven
- DL Jack Crawford Had A Career-High 10 Starts In 2016
- Can Cowboys Afford To Keep Veteran Safety Church?
- Numbers Aren’t Flashy, But Williams Will Intrigue TeamsRead
- Gachkar Played Special Teams, Versatile LB Role Again
- Despite Low Numbers, Escobar Has Appealing Traits
- Claiborne Flashed Potential, But Injuries Struck Again
- Evaluating The Late Addition Of OG Jonathan Cooper
- McFadden Still Productive, Versatile Option
- DT Richard Ash Signed On Late From Jacksonville
- Durant’s Second Stint Not Flashy, But Still Productive