Possible Pick: Could Hurts Be Backup QB Option?

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(Editor's Note: While the start of the 2020 NFL Draft isn't until April 23, it's never too early to profile some of the key participants. The staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of the draft's top prospects, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts.)

  • Name: Jalen Hurts
  • Position: QB
  • College: Oklahoma
  • Height/Weight: 6-1/220
  • Honors: Two-time national champion at Alabama; SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman at Alabama in 2016; All-American and Heisman runner-up
  • Key Stat: Hurts is the first quarterback to start in the College Football Playoff for two different programs – twice for Alabama (2016, 2017) and last year as a senior transfer for OU.

Where He's Projected:

Most draft observers believe Hurts could get selected somewhere on Day 2 (second or third round), though he could get his name called sooner than expected given so many teams' needs for quality quarterback prospects. Here's all you need to know about Hurts' poise and maturity: He was the first freshman ever to start at quarterback for Nick Saban. In 2016, the Tide went undefeated until the national championship game, when Deshaun Watson's last-second touchdown pass lifted Clemson to the title. In 2018, he handled Tua Tagovailoa's promotion to Bama starter with grace. A year later, he led OU to the brink of the national title game.

How He Helps The Cowboys:

Hurts checks many of the same boxes Dak Prescott did coming out of Mississippi State. He's a dual-threat quarterback, he led his program to the nation's top ranking in the rugged SEC, and most importantly, he's a winner. The 21-year-old Houston native might not be as polished a passer as Prescott, but he did throw for nearly 9,500 yards and rush for 3,300 yards in college. He also went 38-4 as a starter at Bama and OU and started five playoff games. The Cowboys did re-signed Cooper Rush, their primary backup the last three years, but could look for additional competition behind Prescott. If not Dallas, Hurts' experience and versatility will probably get him drafted by a team no later than the middle rounds.

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