The Dallas Cowboys have made their bed with the situation they are in at backup quarterback. It's not really any different than where they were last offseason when they couldn't stop heaping praise onto Brandon Weeden. Unfortunately, we all were with them for the most part, but somewhere along the way in losing three straight starts and falling out of favor, he was out as fast as he was in. We don't need to drive down the Matt Cassel road, let's just get to our destination with Kellen Moore.
As it stands, Moore is the primary backup quarterback to Tony Romo. We know the Cowboys flirted with the idea of getting him some competition and still hope to do so. The problem is that there isn't really anything out there for the Cowboys to bring in as far as veterans. Robert Griffin III was a pipe dream that was never going to happen and now he's headed for a fresh start in Cleveland. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not going to be lured into becoming the backup anywhere as he and the Jets fight out their contract issue. The guys left on the market are Ryan Lindley, Jimmy Clausen, Tavaris Jackson and a slew of others that aren't any different than what they currently have. Which brings us to Jerry Jones' comments on Moore:
"I’m looking at the positive, the negatives were obvious," Jones said of Moore. "You can’t win making those kinds of bad plays -- I’m talking about the turnovers and interceptions. On the other hand, for someone that had never played in a game, he did some really impressive things. There’s no question in my mind that he can ultimately play and win games as a quarterback in the NFL -- Kellen Moore can. There’s no question in my mind.
Well, there may be no question in Jerry's mind, but there certainly are questions in everyone else's. The same knocks that have always followed him even coming out of college are still evident. He's got mechanical issues, a weaker arm, has issues throwing on the run. He just can't drive the ball down the field with any true velocity of what an NFL quarterback should have. The game just seems to be a little fast for him and he's not a quick mover, it's why he had yet to ever be a true QB2 until Scott Linehan decided to find out.
That's not to say he doesn't have some strong qualities though as he can lead a team and is intelligent. He can get the ball out fast if pressured. His biggest fans always point to his large amount of success winning at Boise State, but folks, playing on the blue turf in Boise is not the NFL. Just because he's got some of those good traits doesn't mean it will hide his deficiencies. Despite Jerry-speak, you want your backup to be about a .500 quarterback, Kellen Moore is not that. All of the aforementioned brings us to another quote, this time from Jason Garrett:
"Kellen [Moore] deserves an opportunity to win the backup job," Garrett said. "But the landscape of free agency and the draft is in front of us"
It's not much, but it's very telling. In Garrett-style, he's not going to really endorse or bring down any of his players. What that quote tells me is that the head coach isn't ready to just anoint Kellen Moore as the de facto backup, and he shouldn't. This tells us all we need to know for what lies ahead; the Cowboys will take a quarterback, perhaps early, and we need to deal with it. To the chagrin of many others, it's just the way these things go and it's the most important position in the game.
We can't blame them for wanting to solidify the position and, in turn, finally try and develop someone to take over for that inevitable day. With their draft positioning at the top of each round, they have a window of opportunity to get one and put themselves in a good position for the future. It's okay to want an impact player in round one, I sure do, but if they do go there, be prepared. If they see an opportunity to get a potential future face of the franchise, they just can't pass on that. I get all the arguments for it not helping them this year, trust me. If the unthinkable happens, they will certainly be up that putrid creek once again. This is about more than just 2016 though. For the coaches and front office personnel, it's much more than that. It can be the deciding factor of whether they have jobs in the future.
As we speak, they have begun having visits and private workouts with all sorts of passers. This process started long ago with the Senior Bowl and it will continue up until the draft. In order for them to get one of quality, they will have to grab one in rounds 1-3. Dak Prescott in the third round is just about where their cut-off will be. They have spent an awful lot of time with him as I have already outlined here. Then there is also this to consider:
One interesting note regarding Lynch and the #Cowboys: today went so well, I'm told the sides are expected to meet again prior to the draft.— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) March 24, 2016
Now, that is certainly also an interesting note because depending on who you ask, Lynch is going to go anywhere from the end of the first to the beginning of the second. However, if they want him, they may have to trade back up into the end of the first round to be sure. The two guys at the top are still in play as well, both Carson Wentz and Jared Goff could potentially be there at four, and at least one of them certainly should be, barring any trades.
The Cowboys are going to take a quarterback; in fact, they must take a quarterback because it's time to do so. They can't be certain they'll ever be in this position in each round for the near future. Right now, they will have to ride and die with Kellen Moore, but one of these rookies could be the competition that Garrett is looking for. Still, as we lay in the period of endless chatter, we have no idea when they will pull the trigger on a passer. Yet, there is no doubt in my mind that they will take one. At this point, every scenario in order to land one will have to be considered. We must all sort of fall in line and press on with this in mind.
It reminds me of that great line from Jack Nicholson in The Departed, where he asks:
Nicholson: Only kidding. How's your mother?
Bar Patron: Oh... I'm afraid she's on her way out.
Nicholson: We all are...act accordingly.