The Cowboys haven’t selected a quarterback in the NFL draft since Ben DiNucci in 2020. While it likely wouldn’t be with anything more than a Day 3 pick, Dallas is overdue for another drafted QB based on their recent history.
With Dak Prescott in 2016, Mike White in 2018, and then DiNucci, the Cowboys had been drafting a QB every other year. It was a marked difference from their previous philosophy, with only Quincy Carter (2001) and Stephen McGee (2009) comprising the team's drafted passers from 1992-2015.
After striking undrafted gold with Tony Romo, Dallas seemed content to keep searching the rough for diamonds and employing veteran free agents as their backups. But that mentality shifted with the Prescott pick and seemed to establish a new pattern. Jerry Jones even commented on the team wanting to establish a “pipeline” of QB talent.
Interestingly, this is something Mike McCarthy was known for in his Green Bay years. Despite having Aaron Rodgers entrenched as Brett Favre’s heir and then the franchise QB for many years, McCarthy’s Packers would still use picks to fill out their depth chart and groom backups internally.
While the Cowboys are similarly committed to Dak Prescott as their starter and brought back Cooper Rush as the veteran backup, the opportunity for a rookie passer to find developmental work is there. DiNucci didn’t make it past final cuts last year and the only other QB on the roster, Will Grier, is now a 28-year-old with no skins on his NFL wall.
Dallas was willing to spend a fifth-round pick on Mike White in 2018 even when Prescott was just entering his third season. Now with both Prescott and Rush turning 30 this year, and Rush’s new contract only really binding for this one season, the Cowboys could reasonably be in the market for a fresh face in their QB room.
It would seem Dallas is at least considering the possibility based on the last few months. They had Houston QB Clayton Tune in for one of their pre-draft visits and also reportedly met with prospects Hendon Hooker, Max Duggan, and Jaren Hall back during the combine.
These names, particularly Hooker and Duggan, suggest that the Cowboys are open to a mid-round QB selection. But they’re likely hoping one of them falls into the fourth-fifth round; probably the earliest that Dallas would even consider spending a pick at QB right now.
But even if it doesn’t come until the seventh round, a pick at quarterback feels due for the Cowboys in the 2023 NFL Draft. The right guy would have an excellent chance of making the roster now and perhaps contending for the backup job as early as next season.