OXNARD, Calif. – The message has changed at Cowboys training camp – for the moment at least.
It's been roughly two days since Kellen Moore broke his right leg, and only one day since Cowboys officials outlined their plan to replace him with another veteran quarterback. Wednesday afternoon, executive vice president Stephen Jones he wanted to find the right fit – but that he wanted to find one promptly.
"Our No. 1 priority is to get it right, and expeditiously is the No. 2," Jones said. "We want to get a guy in here sooner rather than later."
Fast-forward to Thursday afternoon, and the Cowboys' current plan is to move forward with the two young quarterbacks remaining on their roster in Dak Prescott and Jameill Showers. Any plans of bringing in outside help appear to be on the back burner.
"The best thing for us to do right now is to be pretty deliberate – be not in a big hurry. Let some more things play out around the league," said team owner/general manager Jerry Jones.
That echoes what the Cowboys' head coach said earlier in the day. Speaking to reporters at his Thursday press conference, Jason Garrett said Moore's injury is a big chance for both youngsters to gain some experience.
"For now we're going to give Dak Prescott and Jameill Showers plenty of work," he said. "We're always looking to improve our team. There are guys we've targeted at this position and other positions. We'll continue to do that, but we're going to give the guys we have in camp an opportunity right now."
That opportunity began in earnest, as the Cowboys decided to give Tony Romo a veteran's rest day from Thursday's practice. That meant that, in his first full practice as the backup quarterback, Prescott took first-team repetitions, while Showers went with the twos.
"What happens when you're a young quarterback, when you get these chances – the growth is exponential," Garrett said. "So they really have to be prepared for these opportunities, because they'll be significant in their growth as they go forward."
None of this is to say the Cowboys won't add a veteran signal-caller at some point in the future. At the very least, they'll likely want another arm at some point to help ease the strain of training camp on Romo's arm.
"We've been targeting guys, talking to guys discussing guys who fits, who doesn't fit, what makes sense for us when," Garrett said. "So those discussions go on all the time and oftentimes things work out the way you want to, sometimes they don't."
It's possible things didn't work out with Nick Foles, who Stephen Jones mentioned as an option worth pursuing on Wednesday – only to see the one-time Pro Bowler signed a deal with Kansas City later that night.
In light of that fact, it's possible the Cowboys are re-assessing their options before moving forward. But Jerry Jones said Thursday that they had a good idea of how things would play out with Foles.
[embeddedad0]"From the get-go, we had a good feel that the situation there in Kansas City was leaning that way," he said. "It was not something that was alarming to us at all."
That seems to be the theme for the current backup quarterback situation – not alarming. As it stands right now, team officials say there's no sense of urgency to address the issue.
"That backup quarterback has to be the right situation," Jerry Jones said. "Because we don't want one that we're having to give so much reps to that we don't get reps with Dak and Showers. We don't want that."
That means that, for the time being, Prescott is the Cowboys' No. 2 quarterback – and the throngs of reporters around him after practice emphasize that fact. The rookie might be the most popular name on the roster this week, but he said his attitude hasn't changed since he arrived in California as the third-string quarterback.
"I'm preparing and trying to learn this playbook as if I'm going to be the starter one day," Prescott said. "That's my mindset going in to each and every practice, and nothing has changed because of the circumstances."
The circumstances likely will change again before it's all said and done – possibly even before the end of the week. Asked for his thoughts on the Cowboys adding another veteran quarterback, Prescott remained on message with the poise of an experienced starter.
"That's up to the personnel department -- that has nothing to do with me," he said. "But I'm going to come in, I'm going to get better and make sure I do it each and every day – show these guys exactly what I've got."
In a best-case scenario, maybe Prescott or Showers will show that they've got what it takes. Or maybe they'll be back to their prior pecking order by this time next week.
Either way, the Cowboys appear content to wait and see before making any decisions about their future at backup quarterback.