Whether it be in free agency or the draft, the Cowboys haven't made the investments some have wanted them to make at the backup QB position. And it has a lot of people on edge.
It’s mind-boggling to me that the Cowboys are portraying the image that they think they’re set at the quarterback position behind Romo. The quarterback, who turned 36 last month, isn’t the most durable starter out there—he’s recently undergone two back operations and broke his left collarbone twice last season (he had surgery on it in March).
And Jason Garrett recently had this to say:
"We’re excited about the guys we have on our roster right now," coach Jason Garrett said at the team’s rookie mini-camp. "Kellen is deserving of an opportunity to be our backup quarterback. We like that we drafted Dak in the fourth round. We’re going to give him every chance as we go here. Showers is going to move back into the quarterback room permanently now. We’re going to give those guys a chance to show what they can do."
Excited about the guys on the roster? Does he really expect fans to buy that? I mean, he gave us the same song and dance last year about our running back situation and....oh, wait.
Study: Cowboys Dak Prescott doesn’t fit profile of other 2016 drafted QBs, and it’s OK - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
The Cowboys seem comfortable with their QB situation now, but that didn't stop them from pushing real hard to move up to get Paxton Lynch. There seems to be a certain mold that quarterbacks are created from that demand the highest attention, but not everyone falls into that group. K.D. examines what that profile looks like and where Prescott fits in with all this.
It’s the reason the Cowboys called every team between picks 16 and 26 to try and get back in the first round to grab Paxton Lynch and sit him behind Tony Romo for three to four seasons to develop. So rare is the franchise quarterback, teams will generally select any prospect with promising traits by the 40th overall pick and almost always before the second round ends. Rare is the Russell Wilson, Tom Brady or Romo; a player who ascends despite the league collectively thinking those guys weren’t worthy. Almost every stone is uncovered, all potential is considered.
QB-center exchange is becoming a snap for Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott - Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN
The Cowboys new quarterback prospect will face a lot of new challenges over the next several months, but taking snaps doesn't appear to be one of them. The Mississippi State QB spent a great deal of his time in the shotgun so making a smooth transition of taking snaps under center is just one of the many things he'll have to master.
"It won’t be anything here before too long, that I won’t have to think about it," Prescott said. "I’ll just be out there playing and reacting more than anything. It’s more getting my feet together. I don’t even necessarily need a center. I can have somebody snapping me the ball, getting my drop, transferring my weight into my throws."
This seems like a relatively simple thing for Prescott to learn, but the fact that he's already worked hard to get better at this so quickly is a testament to what type of player he is.
Why Dak Prescott is a long shot to become Cowboys' next franchise quarterback - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDay
The addition of Prescott gives some fans a reason to be excited, but as far as him being the successor to Tony Romo - the odds aren't in his favorable. Tim Cowlishaw explains why.
Question: A draft review I saw said that Dak Prescott has 'franchise QB' potential. Agree?
Cowlishaw: Only in the way that everyone has potential. I would say he has "long shot" franchise potential. Very few QBs coming out of spread attacks transfer those skills quickly to the NFL. On top of that, QBs not drafted in the top 100? Those success cases are extremely rare. Prescott has intangibles as a leader that everyone loves, so perhaps that increases his chances. But he's still a long shot.
NFL Quarterbacks: Is The Talent Pool Drying Up? - Tom Ryle, BTB
A lot of people are concerned about the Cowboys quarterback situation and would like the front office to be more assertive in finding Tony Romo's eventual replacement. But such a task is more rigorous than fans want to believe. Our own Tom Ryle takes a gander around the league to see just where the talent lies.
Not all of the projected starters are seen as top talents, of course, but it is worth noting that almost a third of the starters, including Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson, were finds in later rounds.
And if the Cowboys quarterback situation doesn't have you Ryle'd up (see what I did there?), then certainly the pass rushing fiasco must have you worried.
Cowboys Rushmen: Is A Future Being Built At DE? - Jordan Ross, Scout
While the names are underwhelming, the athleticism is not. This group of defensive linemen for the Cowboys contain several players that posses a lot of upside, but who is going to emerge? Jordan Ross from Cowboys HQ takes a look at a few candidates that have sleeper potential.
Irving is a physical freak of nature. He has a 130.0 SPARQ score and is more athletic than 91.1 percent of defensive linemen in the NFL. His arms (37 1/4") would've been the longest among all D-linemen at this year’s combine. The next closest was Alex McAlister (36"). Only four others had over 35". Irving's broad jump would've been the best among all D-linemen at this year's combine. His vertical would've been the second best among all D-linemen. His 4.84 40-yard dash is very good for his size (6-7, 272). Only four D-linemen over 270 pounds had a faster time at this year's combine.
Examining why the Cowboys’ pass rush can rise in ‘16 - Massimo Russo, Cover32
While it's comforting to have a bunch of top resources allocated on defense, it's not a requirement. Success can still find you if you can just find the right assortment of players.
DE, Michael Bennett – undrafted, 8.5 sacks
DE, Cliff Avril – third-round 92nd overall, 8 sacks
DT, Clinton McDaniel – seventh-round 249th overall pick by Bengals in ’09 draft, 5.5 sacks
MLB, Bobby Wagner – second-round 47th overall, 5 sacks
DE, Chris Clemons – undrafted, 4.5 sacks
LB, Bruce Irvin – first-round 15th overall, 2 sacks
DT, Tony McDaniel – undrafted, 2 sacks LB, K.J. Wright – fourth-round 99th overall, 1.5 sacks
DE, Red Bryant – fourth-round 121st overall, 1.5 sacks
DT, Brandon Mebane – third-round 85th overall, 0 sacks, but helped against the run
Which defensive players I think could surprise next season for the Cowboys - Brandon George, SportsDay
With so many wild card defensive linemen to choose from, which ones have the best shot at contributing in 2016? Brandon George identifies a couple names that fans should remember.
Question: Seems like the Cowboys' defense is filled with possible "breakout player" candidates. Who on that unit gets your vote for that title?
George: Well, when you have a bunch of players who aren't considered stars on a defense then you start labeling players possible breakout players. It's being optimistic. And certainly the Cowboys have a few players you would perhaps say have the potential to surprise. ... Benson Mayowa and Charles Tapper could step up in their first seasons with the Cowboys. Also, I think it will help Byron Jones a lot keeping him at safety full-time.
The Cowboys will look at several candidates to fill the void at defensive end, but could their fourth round draft pick be a starter when the season begins?
Tapper can play inside and outside. Even though he himself didn't do a lot of pass rushing, he still received accolades from conference coaches each of the past three years with first Team honors coming after the 2013 and 2015 seasons. He started 38 of 39 games during that time. He recorded a total of 136 tackles, 26.5 tackles for a loss and 15.5 sacks.
Cowboys' Rod Marinelli Looking For Complete Product At Pass Rush, Not Individual Performances - Michael Sisemore, BTB
While the Cowboys don't have any one guy that stands out as a pass rushing ace, they are hoping the collective group can be effective. Michael Sisemore takes a look at some of the new acquisitions and why it's all about the group effort.
The Cowboys also grabbed a restricted free agent that they have rumored to have liked since he was nabbed by the Seahawks two years ago. Benson Mayowa is a player that still has development ahead of him but has shown that he's a fast learner. Marinelli hopes that with just a pinch of Marinelli magic, he'll become a solid piece in their rotation.
The Cowboys need to stop looking for home runs and make sensible picks instead - Rick Gosselin, SportsDay
The Cowboys could have a familiar face slide over to the end to give the team some temporary help until the suspended guys return. But is that the right thing to do? Rick Gosselin weighs in.
Question: Do you think Tyrone Crawford can produce at defensive end if he's healthy? I'm not sure how different those two positions are.
Gosselin: I think Crawford will always be a member of the supporting cast. He's given us no indication that he can become a double-digit sack guy. So if "producing" means 7-8 sacks, possibly. If producing means 11-12 sacks, I don't think so. He's a power guy who stands a better chance of beating guards inside than he does the longer arms of those offensive tackles on the outside.
The problem with moving Crawford to DE is that the team loses a really strong DT. Sure, he could do it, but would that be the right move? Just as Chris Rock once said, "You can drive a car with your feet, but that don't make it a good idea."
Hopefully DeMarcus Lawrence won't miss much time. Remember when he was doing this?
If we can turn back time, to the good dope days.
Better days are coming for this team when it comes to the pass rush...we just don't know it yet.