With one preseason game remaining before they kick off the 2021 season-opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Dallas Cowboys have yet to figure out who will be Dak Prescott’s primary backup this year. Garrett Gilbert and Cooper Rush are currently their best options on the roster, but that doesn’t mean they are the only options.
Until last week against the Houston Texans, it looked as if the QB2 job was Garrett Gilbert’s to lose. Sadly, he didn’t put his best foot forward in the Cowboys third preseason game, which probably allowed Cooper Rush to close the distance between the two of them. Now it looks like it could be a neck-and-neck race, However, Dallas would be wise to consider all of their options.
In order to do their due diligence, the Cowboys need to be watching the QB market pretty closely. Sadly, Garrett Gilbert and Cooper Rush have had the entire offseason to prove themselves worthy of handling the backup duties this year and neither one has really emerged as a clear-cut favorite. That could leave the Cowboys looking elsewhere.
While Philip Rivers has said he might be open to returning to the league, he also said he would only likely do it late in the season. He was pretty clear that he’s not currently in football shape and it would take him a while to get there. He would also likely be looking for a starting gig. So we’ll just rule him out for the time being.
Blake Bortles is still available on the open market. The Cowboys haven’t kicked the tires on him, or any other free agent QB recently, but could do so soon if things fall through with Garrett Gilbert and Cooper Rush. And, there’s also the upcoming roster cuts and trade possibilities to take into consideration.
31 other teams have quarterbacks on their roster who could entice the Cowboys to move on from either, or both Gilbert and Rush. Some of these players will be cut out right, while others will be put on the trade block to try to receive some kind of draft compensation. Whatever the scenario, Dallas should be monitoring both situations closely.
Two quarterbacks they could be monitoring closely are Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew. Both could be available via trade, although it’s unknown if the Cowboys would want to part with the kind of compensation it would take to acquire them. Regardless, either one would be a pretty significant upgrade over Dallas’ current options.
Other than that, the Dallas Cowboys will have to scour the waiver wire after roster cuts in the hopes of upgrading their QB2 position this year. Whatever they decide to do they have to make sure they leave no stone unturned to find the best option to backup No. 4 this year. After what happened last season, they should know this better than anyone.