I'm going to play devil's advocate today.
When the news came out that the Cowboys were interested in Brooks Bollinger my response was the same as Grizz's: a little confused. It just seems to me that if the Cowboys were willing to bring in someone like Bollinger to be the 3rd quarterback, then they might as well just keep Richard Bartel. Not to mention that they sure as heck aren't signing Bollinger to be on the practice squad, so that means another player will get cut, most likely James Marten (at least Grizz hopes it is) and we all know that if we had our choice that roster spot would belong to Evan Oglesby.
Me, I can't just see something confusing happen and then scratch my head for a while and either accept it or just move on. I have to analyze it and try to determine exactly what went into the thought process behind curious decisions. So I stepped back and tried to determine what exactly is going through the front office's collective mind when these decisions were being made.
Lets forget that Richard Bartel was here already, was starting to show some promise and would be a candidate for the #2 job next year, and that the Cowboys are looking for a veteran with some time spent on the field already. So taking a look at available quarterbacks with NFL experience, we have this list:
Brock Berlin, Brooks Bollinger, Bruce Gradkowski, Quinn Gray, Joey Harrington Chris Simms and the always available Daunte Culpepper.
Not a very awe inspiring list. Everybody comes with some sort of question, whether it's injury or ability. There's a good reason these guys aren't on someone's roster right now. We also have to remember that the Cowboys are looking for a 3rd quarterback, someone to hold a clipboard on the sideline and who would only come into the game in a situation of dire emergency. The Cowboys are confident in Brad Johnson's ability to hold down the fort if Tony Romo were to miss some time but let's face it, if he goes down the Cowboys offense will be just a bit different.
In a perfect world, backup quarterbacks would be able to step onto the field and the lead the team just as well as the starters. Heck, sometimes the backups come in and become the starters. But the truth is that these players are backups for a reason. The best you could hope for is that they are able to hold the fort while the running backs pound the rock. As Cowboys fans, we have been a bit spoiled when it comes to backups. Bernie Kosar, Rodney Peete, Wade Wilson, Jason Garrett and even Randall Cunningham were all backups at one point behind Troy Aikman. Our current QB phenom was a backup for 3 years before stepping into the starting role in the middle of the 2006 season. So it's habit to always be looking for the next great backup to stand on the Cowboys' sideline.
Right now, Bollinger may just be the Cowboys' best option. A lot of folks were interested in Chris Simms, yet supposedly he had a poor showing in a workout for the Ravens, failing to play better than Todd Bouman and Joey Harrington. Ouch. Quinn Gray is also an interesting idea, yet he was unable to outplay Jared Lorenzen for the 3rd spot in Indy. Jared Lorenzen. Daunte Culpepper most likely isn't interested in being third in line, and right now Bollinger has more upside than Gradkowski, Josh Beck or Brock Berlin. So by process of elimination the Cowboys are down to Brooks Bollinger.
I know it's not the ideal situation we would like to have behind Tony Romo. You would have to think that Brad Johnson most likely wouldn't be around next year and the Cowboys have to plan for that. Ideally, the best route would have been to draft a quarterback this year but the Cowboys were unwilling to draft one too high. Perhaps Richard Bartel would have been a good option next year after another season on the practice squad. But for now the Cowboys have to go with the best option available and right now that is Brooks Bollinger.