When the Cowboys selected Dak Prescott with a Day 3 compensatory pick, most people gave a nod of approval as the team now had a young quarterback they could groom for the future and also serve as the backup to Tony Romo. Well, Prescott ended up never being the backup. Due to an unfortunate injury to Romo in a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks as well as a fluke injury to Kellen Moore in training camp, Prescott turned out to be the team’s opening day quarterback in 2016. And he’s never looked back.
The Cowboys have come a long way since the quarterback debacle of the 2015 season. Romo and Moore are no longer on the team. Romo now spends his time talking about football players and Moore spends his time coaching them. The responsibility of quarterbacking America’s Team now falls on the arms of Prescott, Cooper Rush, and recent draft pick Mike White.
Just like when Prescott was drafted, the same type of buzz is going on with White. The talk of how he’s a great value pick has filled the airwaves. And indeed he is. This draft featured a top-heavy group of quarterbacks that all the QB-needy teams went crazy for in the first round of the draft. Four quarterbacks were taken in the top 10 of the draft and five total in round one. Once those guys were gone, the QB frenzy was over as teams started addressing other needs. Not a single QB was taken in round two and only one quarterback was taken in each of the next three rounds. Good quarterbacks had fallen. When the dust settled, the Cowboys selected White with a Day 3 compensatory pick, making him the eighth quarterback selected in the draft.
Dak Prescott was the eighth quarterback selected in the 2016 draft.
The Cowboys got themselves a great bargain when it comes to White’s talent versus his draft cost. Draft expert Dane Brugler speaks high of the Western Kentucky quarterback...
Could Mike White end up being one of the steals of the draft?
Brugler: Absolutely. I’m a firm believer in identifying a quarterback in the mid-to-late rounds and drafting him if he is available at a certain point in the draft, regardless of what the rest of your roster looks like. It is the most important position on the roster, why not improve it? Why not create competition? It is a lottery ticket. I graded Mike White as a 3rd-4th rounder so I love the value in the 5th round. His feet are clunky and he needs to better navigate around pressure, but he has a NFL arm with the passing instincts and leadership that will appeal to the Dallas coaches. I graded him as a “back up with the potential to be more.”
White has a strong arm and throws with great accuracy. He also demonstrates good leadership qualities and possesses the intangibles to be a great player. And those are the same characteristics that have us so excited about Prescott. He also throws he ball well on the run, which is another trait similar to Dak.
While Prescott is good at finding the open receivers and is one of the league’s best at tight window throws, White can throw his receivers open. He has a nice touch on this throws and his tape shows exceptional ball placement, hitting his receivers in stride. The build, physical attributes, and talent are all pointing in the right direction so his potential to be a good quarterback is there.
White was a baseball standout in high school and only had one year of experience playing quarterback entering college. Similar to Troy Aikman, White transferred from one college to another in order to play for an offense that better fit his passing skills. And boy did that pay off. White’s college production over the last two seasons is impressive:
New Cowboys QB Mike White's stats at Western Kentucky:— Brandon George (@DMN_George) April 28, 2018
2016: 280-for-416 passing for 4,363 yards, 37 TDs with 7 INTs
2017: 368-for-560 passing for 4,177 yards, 26 TDs with 8 INTs
(Fun Fact: Troy Aikman was also a baseball star prior to making a name for himself in football. He was even offered a contract from the New York Mets).
Make no mistake about it - there is no quarterback controversy in Dallas. Dak’s the guy. And nobody should be looking past Cooper Rush either as he has given fans every reason to be optimistic about his upside. He had an amazing preseason last year and you don’t have to convince Cowboys fans how little being an undrafted free agent means when it comes to the possibility of a quarterback emerging as something great. But while the Cowboys already have two good quarterbacks, it’s very possible they got themselves a third one whose upside is every bit as good as anyone on the roster.
The coaching staff places an emphasis on creating competition and that’s exactly what they have going on at the quarterback position. Where White lands on the depth chart is still up in the air, but you have to feel good about what this kid brings to the team. It should be a fun training camp.