Quarterback Kellen Moore suffered a fractured right lower leg in practice on Tuesday, further weakening an already weak backup QB position for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys’ No. 1 off-season priority was to find a backup QB they could win a few games with, should Tony Romo get injured. After passing on a handful of free agents and missing out on both Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook in the draft, they settled on Kellen Moore and added Dak Prescott in the fourth round of the draft.
Born out of necessity, Stephen Jones announced just last week that the Cowboys would give their young guys a chance.
"Cincinnati last year had a really solid football team. You look at what they did with A.J. [McCarron], a fifth-round pick out of the SEC and he came in and had every opportunity and, nothing to do with him, had a chance to win a playoff game for them," Jones said. "So, at some point you've got to commit your resources to getting your young guys ready or you're always in that mode of older, veteran guys."
"They developed him," Jones said. "He really played well for the Bengals in Cincinnati, and we've got to do the same thing."
At the time, the Cowboys had three healthy backup QBs, so when asked whether they remained interested in pursuing a more experienced backup QB, such as recently-released Rams quarterback Nick Foles, Jerry Jones explained why that wasn't an option.
"Foles isn't an option," he said. "We can't get him any snaps. We’ve got four that are going to get snaps."
But in just one week, the number of available snaps has changed significantly.
Tony Romo is once again on a back-friendly, 'two days on, one day off' model that opens up first-team snaps every third practice for somebody else. And with the previous No. 2 QB Kellen Moore now out for at least three to four months, that leaves a significant number of quality snaps up for grabs.
The Cowboys could divide these up between rookie fourth-round draft pick Dak Prescott and one-year veteran Jameill Showers, or they could go looking for a more experienced backup for the oft-injured Tony Romo.
Ed Werder of ESPN reports today that the Cowboys are considering Nick Foles as an option but are also discussing potential trades.
Foles bought his way out of his Los Angeles Rams contract last week and is an unrestricted free agent. The Cowboys discussed with the Rams their interest in trading for him but then drafted quarterback Dak Prescott.
Among the quarterbacks the Cowboys could seek in a trade are the Cleveland Browns' Josh McCown and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Mike Glennon.
Foles wouldn't cost the Cowboys anything in terms of trade capital, while the Browns and Buccaneers would demand almost certainly demand a king's ransom in a trade for McCown or Glennon.
Foles had a remarkable 2013 season for the Eagles, but has since regressed dramatically, but frankly, there isn't much else out there for the Cowboys. Here are some of the names of available QBs flying around:
- Michael Vick is still looking to join a team.
- Matt Flynn worked out for the Cowboys after Romo's injury last year, but the Cowboys eventually decided to trade for Matt Cassel.
- Career backup Charlie Whitehurst is available.
- Jimmy Clausen also hasn't found a team yet, but the Cowboys would probably be better off sticking with the two guys they have.
- T.J. Yates is also still available, but after tearing his ACL in December probably isn't an option.
In any case, beggars can't be choosers, so the Cowboys will either need to give up some quality draft picks in a trade for backup QBs of questionable quality, or they'll have to cough up some big money to get a guy they may have to scrape from the bottom of a barrel.
Most Single Season Cash as Backup QB— Spotrac (@spotrac) August 3, 2016
Kaepernick?: $14.3M, '16, SF
Hasselbeck: $5.5M, '12, TEN
Henne: $4.5M, '14, JAX
Moore: $4M, '14, MIA
The Cowboys don't practice today, so they'll have some time to figure this thing out, but if they bring in a guy, they'll probably want to do it really quick. So it might be a good thing that Foles is represented by David Dunn, who also represents Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan, as ed Werder points out.