OXNARD, Calif. – Given Tony Romo's limited schedule during training camp and the preseason, it sounds like the Cowboys plan on seeing much more of Dak Prescott and Jameill Showers.
Of course, Romo is the team's obvious starter and franchise quarterback. But Romo's training camp is once again marked by the occasional off day, and it's a reasonable guess that he'll see limited playing time during the Cowboys' four preseason games.
Asked about it Wednesday on 103.3 ESPN Radio, team owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he intends to use that precious time to look at Showers and Prescott, rather than try to acquire a veteran signal-caller.
"To be very candid with you, we're going to evaluate these quarterbacks," Jones said. "Without Romo getting a lot of time here in preseason, which is the case, then we can afford that – we can all afford that."
Romo has rested during two practice days to this point in camp, giving some valuable added reps to the Cowboys' two younger quarterbacks. Considering his veteran status, it's also doubtful he's going to do much in the preseason. For reference, he threw nine combined passes during the 2015 preseason – and none of those came in either the first or fourth game.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday that his staff hasn't determined how Showers and Prescott will split the workload. But it's a safe bet that both of them are going to get an extensive amount of work in the coming weeks.
With the limited numbers of reps available during an NFL preseason, Jones said that's an invaluable tool for gauging the progress of both of them.
"These young quarterbacks are going to get it, and I'm not going to waste that time," he said. "That time is a precious commodity in the NFL to evaluate quarterbacks."
Prescott and Showers both worked extensively on Tuesday, during Romo's second off day of camp. That trend will only continue going forward, and Jones said he doesn't want to see another quarterback take those reps away – both in practice and in the preseason.
"We've seen enough from them that they deserve this opportunity," he said. "We're going to see that, and so I don't see bringing a quarterback in here that has to take reps away from these guys during the preseason."
None of that is to say the Cowboys won't add a veteran quarterback at some time in the next four weeks. They missed out on Nick Foles last week, but other options will undoubtedly become available as other NFL clubs begin to trim their rosters. There's also always the possibility of a trade – like last year, when they acquired Matt Cassel with a fifth-round draft pick.
For the time being, though, Jones has given quite a vote of confidence to the Cowboys' youth movement.