Debunking the parable about Cowboys quarterback scouting and improvement
There’s loads of criticism for Dallas’ offseason work with quarterbacks. Is it actually legitimate?
With Cooper Rush a free agent and Dak Prescott coming off a down yr, quarterback is a scorching matter for the Cowboys’ 2023 offseason. Dialogue round how Dallas has dealt with its scouting and improvement of QBs up to now has been principally destructive, however is that basically truthful?
One of many extra widespread statements you’ll see is that the Cowboys lucked or stumbled into Dak Prescott and Tony Romo as their final two starters. Whereas Dallas has definitely gotten loads of mileage out of a former fourth-round decide and undrafted free agent, the notion that it was all some blissful accident is disrespectful to the individuals who made it occur.
Let’s begin with Prescott. A fourth-round decide is hardly some nugatory commodity, exhibiting the Cowboys clearly believed in Dak to have potential for the longer term. Exterior of Stephen McGee in 2009 (additionally a fourth), the Prescott decide is the best that Dallas has taken a QB since utilizing a second-rounder on Quincy Carter in 2002.
Dallas’ number of Prescott has at all times include the asterisk that they actually needed Paxton Lynch within the first spherical and most popular Connor Cook dinner over Prescott within the fourth spherical. Whereas each of this stuff are true, different groups clearly shared the Cowboys’ perception in these guys’ potential. Each the Broncos and Raiders, respectively, traded as much as choose Lynch and Cook dinner after they did.
Positive, no person may’ve imagined that Prescott would have the rapid influence he did in Dallas. The remainder of the NFL definitely didn’t count on it, both, provided that he fell to the underside of the fourth spherical. But it surely was the Cowboys who in the end made the choice so as to add Prescott and the outcomes have been spectacular for the place he was drafted. The main points about Lynch and Cook dinner apart, they nonetheless deserve credit score for seeing Dak’s potential and having him able to step in for Tony Romo so shortly.
Talking of Romo, he’s one of many NFL’s nice rags-to-riches tales. However whereas Romo did be a part of the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent, his rise to the beginning job was removed from rapid. He did not take over for Drew Bledsoe till Week 6 of the 2006 season, practically three-and-half years after signing with Dallas in 2003.
Whereas Romo’s profession as a multi-time Professional Bowler, with a number of lacking large wins within the post-season for a possible Corridor of Fame résumé, was not possible to foretell, it hardly took place by happenstance. He was groomed for a number of offseasons by Sean Payton, Invoice Parcells, and others. The Cowboys noticed sufficient to maintain carrying him as a 3rd QB on the depth chart and even denied Payton’s makes an attempt to convey Romo with him to New Orleans in 2006.
Scouting bought Prescott and Romo their alternatives in Dallas. Growth made them the valued members of franchise historical past that they’re immediately.
Whereas we’re at it, how about Cooper Rush? From his undrafted beginnings in 2017 to a 5-1 document as a starter the final two years, Rush is one other glorious within the group’s cap in terms of QB analysis and coaching. He’s about to turn out to be one of the enticing backup choices on this yr’s free company market.
Positive, the document is hardly spotless. We’ve already talked about the crew’s success to not find yourself with Paxton Lynch or Connor Cook dinner as an alternative of Prescott in 2016. We additionally introduced up that Stephen McGee decide in 2009; a relative bust who by no means regarded competent in three years with Dallas after which didn’t catch on with Houston.
Extra lately, the Cowboys have wasted draft picks on Mike White in 2018 (fifth spherical) and Ben DiNucci in 2020 (seventh spherical). White solely lasted a yr in Dallas, getting dumped after the 2019 preseason in favor of one other poor alternative in Clayton Thorson. He has since caught on with the Jets and been a good starter at instances. If something, Dallas could have lower White free too quickly or simply had the unsuitable system for him.
DiNucci caught round lengthy sufficient for that one disastrous begin towards the Eagles in 2020 and is now making an attempt to make one thing occur within the XFL. Whereas expectations had been by no means realistically excessive for a seventh-rounder, nor ought to they be, DiNucci hardly adopted in Rush or Romo’s footsteps as a pleasing shock.
The following quarterback that the Cowboys draft will not be a very good one, both. Historical past exhibits that each crew has had its wins and losses. However this notion that Dallas doesn’t know what it’s doing in terms of evaluating or creating QBs is clearly not correct. They’ve acquired some unbelievable returns on minimal investments, and so they’ve needed to put in actual work to each draft the precise guys and information them to success.