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Mailbag: Zeke Rebound? Trade For A Backup QB?


I believe if the O-Line can stay healthy, I believe they are still one of the best if not the best in the NFL. So with that said, do you see Zeke having a Pro Bowl season again? — WALT DEBELL / TROY, NY

David: I've been saying this since November, so I'm not about to back down now. Zeke Elliott was unquestionably disappointing last year. We don't need to make excuses for him. For $15 million a year, I'd have liked to see him make more things happen, regardless of the circumstances. Having said that, it definitely matters that he was without his starting quarterback and his offensive line was a wreck. If he's got Dak and a healthier offensive line, I think he's going to bounce back in a big way in 2021.

Rob: If the personal workouts Zeke has posted on social media are any indication, he's definitely motivated to bounce back. I believe he will, but I do think his production will depend on the line's health. I don't care how much money you make, that was a challenge for him last year. The overall run game production dipped noticeably after Zack Martin got hurt in December. But I'm sure the fumbles still tick him off. Because as much as the defense was criticized last year, the offense's turnovers contributed to the team's slow start.

With Blake Bortles signing in Green Bay, there aren't many experienced backup quarterbacks available. Do you think it would be wise to try to trade for a veteran who may be the odd man out in another city? — STEVE NEECE / BARTLESVILLE, OK

David: I love that you're thinking outside the box, but quarterback contracts make that seem kind of dicey. All the Cowboys have talked about since the draft ended is their cap space. Trading for a veteran quarterback wouldn't just cost them a draft pick or two, but they'd also have to find a way to account for his hit on the salary cap. That's why I think it's a bit unlikely. Now, if a team with too many quarterbacks happens to release one later this summer, I absolutely think they should pursue that.

Rob: Like Dave said, generally speaking, that scenario would depend on money. The Cowboys have gone that route before, trading for Matt Cassel in 2015 after Tony Romo got hurt. But they are tight against the salary cap. Could Garrett Gilbert at just under a million provide similar production, if needed, as another veteran with a larger salary? That's something the Cowboys have to decide. But by bringing Jeff Driskel in for a free agent visit recently, they're obviously keeping their eyes peeled.

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