Skip to main content

With the NFL Draft completed and free agency at least slowing down here as the summer approaches, it's time to take a closer look at every position.

Each day, we will dissect a different aspect about the position, ranging from position battles, to under-the-radar players, to simply answering questions that have yet to be resolved.

Today, we'll start with the quarterback position.

What's New?

The one position that actually had big news over the last couple of days is the quarterback position. And it wasn't just big for the Cowboys; it seemed to surprise the entire NFL community as well.

Andy Dalton, just recently cut by the Bengals, has signed with the Cowboys, making him one of the most experienced backups in the league – and certainly one of the more seasoned No. 2 quarterbacks Dallas has had in recent years.

On Monday, the Cowboys officially waived Cooper Rush, who had backed up Dak Prescott the last three seasons. Rush, who signed a restricted free agent tender back in March, has only thrown three career passes.

The fact that Prescott hasn't been injured is one reason to wonder why the Cowboys would guarantee $3 million for Dalton's services. But don't forget, this is a new era of Cowboys football under Mike McCarthy, who not only coached in Green Bay, but drafted Aaron Rodgers when he had Brett Favre. He also drafted five quarterbacks in 13 years despite having those two legends.

So McCarthy not only likes the insurance, but sees the value of having a competitive quarterback room.

And until the Cowboys' front office says something different, that is going to be the angle to take from this move. This is about having experience at the position and little to do with the fact that Prescott has yet to sign his franchise tag tender.

Dalton has played nine years in the NFL, compiling a 70-61-2 record in the regular season. He's 0-4 in the playoffs but hasn't been since 2016. Dalton and the entire Bengals organization has struggled the last four years (20-35-1 as a starter), which led to the drafting of LSU's Joe Burrow with the No. 1 pick just two weeks ago.

Overall, Dalton has a career 87.5 passer rating and was 40-23-1 in his first four seasons with the Bengals, compared to Prescott's 40-24 record after four years.

But Dalton isn't the only quarterback added to the group here in the last week. The Cowboys drafted Ben DiNucci in the seventh round out of James Madison, making him just the ninth quarterback in the last 31 years selected by the franchise.

Both Dalton and DiNucci could make the roster, but like most teams, the Cowboys would ideally prefer that neither of him takes a meaningful snap in 2020.


What We Know:

Despite some of the recent additions, including a veteran backup with over 130 starts, Dak Prescott is still the focal point of the position – and even the entire team.

Sure, he hasn't signed his franchise tender yet, but it's an exclusive offer from the Cowboys and don't expect anything to change – other than him either signing on the dotted line or finalizing a long-term contract that will end all of this uncertainty regarding the Cowboys' most recognizable player.

The team has until July 15 to get a long-term contract completed, otherwise Prescott and the Cowboys won't be able to renegotiate until the following March. At that point, he could test the free agency waters or Dallas could give him another franchise tag, which would be even more expensive and likely cause even more drama between the two sides.

As it stands now, the Cowboys seemingly have no plans to shake up the position – despite signing Andy Dalton over the weekend.

The Cowboys have made it clear from the start that Prescott is their quarterback of the future. At this point, the two sides just need to come together on a long-term deal or Prescott signs his tender.

Either way, nothing has changed in terms of the direction the Cowboys are taking.

back to top