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Cowboys training camp pipe dreaming: Sorting out the quarterback room

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Let’s chug some of that blue Kool-Aid and envision a best case scenario.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys-Minicamp
We know who leads the pack, but can the team turn the backup job battle to their advantage?
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s put aside the worries for a bit and indulge in a bit of pure, unbridled optimism about the 2018 Dallas Cowboys. The team certainly has many questions to answer. But this is all about looking at the bright side. We are going to take a look at the expected camp battle between Cooper Rush and Mike White to back up Dak Prescott, and come up with something that is probably not likely to happen, but that would be a rather pleasing outcome.

Our Cole Patterson took a look at the expected showdown between Rush and White in a recent post. As he noted, all of the staff here at BTB expects both to make the team. But there is a premium on those roster spots this year, as I noted a bit earlier. That may put pressure on the staff to only go with two quarterbacks on the roster, as they did last year.

The obvious problem there comes if both Rush and White have good camps. That would make trying to get one of them to the practice squad risky. Years ago, they tried to do that with Matt Moore, only to see him signed by the Carolina Panthers, who had also shown interest in him as a UDFA. And he has done well enough since then to still have a job with the Miami Dolphins.

But what if there is another way to go? One thing we have seen in recent years is that the preseason can be hazardous to the health of your starting quarterback. (Feel free to shed a tear for Tony Romo.) And there are some suspect offensive lines out there.

So imagine this. Rush and White are very close, particularly in the preseason games. While the team is likely to be very protective of Prescott, only letting him on the field with the starting (and hopefully resurgent) offensive line and limiting or completely avoiding plays where he uses his legs and becomes more likely to take a hit, they will not be so constrained with the backups. So Rush and White put some nice video out there in the first three preseason games. Heck, let’s just get greedy, and say Dalton Sturm doesn’t do too badly, either. Remember, those myriad wide receivers and the tight ends are all going to be in some interesting competitions to see who makes the team, so they will be doing everything they can to catch the ball and do something with it when given the opportunity.

And somewhere, an NFL team sees its starting QB go on IR to start the season. They find themselves in need of either a potential starter or a better backup than they have. They scour the free agent veterans that are available, but for one reason or another find fault in all of them.

So the Cowboys get a phone call. The question asked is, what it would take to part with White or Rush?

Now, again assuming that both have done well, the team would probably not be interested in flipping White for a draft pick, even if they could demand and get, say, a fourth-round pick for him. But if the calling GM was willing to give up a fourth-round pick for Rush - well, that would be a pretty good return on investment for him.

The Cowboys would then be able to roll into the season with White backing up Prescott, while still having a pretty good shot at getting Sturm to the practice squad for emergency insurance and further development. They free up a roster spot while gaining ammunition in next year’s draft.

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Again, this is not meant as any kind of serious prediction, just laying out a best-case scenario that would give the team sufficient depth at the position while freeing up a roster spot for an extra wide receiver or defensive end. They certainly have plenty of both currently vying to make the team, and hopefully things would also work out well there for Dallas.

As the title says, this is most likely just a pipe dream. But it is not an impossible one. And we have seen backup quarterbacks traded away by successful teams, especially the set of those NFL franchises that call the New England area home.

Maybe it’s crazy. And it certainly depends on the players involved living up to the hopes laid out here. But it would be fun, wouldn’t it?

Let us know what you think in the comments.