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Mailbag: Finding A Backup QB In The Draft?


With the free agent loss of Andy Dalton as a backup quarterback, do you think it will be more likely that Jerry drafts a quarterback day three or goes for a veteran free agent? — DENTON SORRELLS / MISSOURI CITY, TX

David: If I'm choosing between those two options, I think it's more likely they turned toward the draft. For starters, most of the proven veteran quarterbacks have signed elsewhere by now – and on top of that, the Cowboys don't have a ton of money to spend on such an expensive position. They also have six Day 3 draft picks, so it'd be very easy to throw one of those at a developmental quarterback. All of that said, I'm not going to be surprised if they ride with the guys that are already here. Garrett Gilbert impressed in his lone start last season, and Ben DiNucci is still a young guy coming off his first season.

Rob: We all know the Cowboys have much bigger needs this year than drafting a backup quarterback to develop. You can't expect a Day 3 draft pick to be Dak's primary backup in Year 1. (Ben DiNucci wasn't ready yet, either.) That said, the Cowboys have 10 picks and head coach Mike McCarthy comes from a Green Bay organization that drafted five quarterbacks in his 13 years up there. If the right guy on their board is there with a later pick, why not? But if you're asking who's the No. 2 QB next season, much better chance it's Garrett Gilbert or a veteran free agent if the Cowboys go that route.

I haven't heard anyone mention Maurice Canady during the offseason. Has he left? Is he yet to confirm he'll play this season? If he is still with us do you see him as a potential starter or decent depth? — STU ANDERSON / UNITED KINGDOM

David: Canady's contract tolled when he opted out, so he is definitely still under contract. We haven't heard anything for sure, but I am going to assume he intends to play in 2021 until I hear otherwise. Even still, I look at him more as quality depth and a solid special teams player. He's only started four games in his four-year career. When you consider that the front office re-signed Jourdan Lewis and will likely use a high draft pick on a cornerback, I'm just not sure where the starting opportunity would come from unless there are several injuries.

Rob: Canady probably wasn't going to be one of the top three cornerbacks on the depth chart when he signed last year. But he's played more defensive snaps in his career than C.J. Goodwin, whose main role is special teams, and he's been productive on coverage units, too. If Canady is back on the roster next season – his 2020 contract tolls to 2021 – he has the ability and experience to help the Cowboys in both areas.

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