Every fall, we all sit down in front of our TV on Week 1 of the new NFL season, and ask ourselves, “Is this the year that the Dallas Cowboys will be relevant again?” While they are pushed down our throats from a marketing and broadcast perspective, the facts about the Dallas Cowboys franchise are hard to swallow.
Since their 3 Super Bowl wins in the 1990s, the Dallas Cowboys have won 3(!) playoff games in the last 25 years. The only teams who have had fewer wins in the last 25 years are the Cleveland Browns, Washington Commanders, and Detroit Lions. That’s not the type of company that a formerly proud NFL franchise wants to keep.
Coming into this year, expectations were sky high, as they usually are under Jerry Jones. There were still major questions coming into the season. There was a significant depth concern at the wide receiver position outside of Ceedee Lamb. Defensive end Randy Gregory left in free agency. Overall, the roster got worse from last year.
The biggest question that plagues the Dallas Cowboys has always been at quarterback. Dak Prescott, while being one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the National Football League, has had a hard time staying on the field the last couple of years.
In 2020, Dak Prescott missed most of the season with a dislocated and fractured ankle injury he suffered in Week 6. In 2021, he suffered a calf injury in Week 6 against the Patriots. He played the rest of the season, but the season ended in typical Dallas Cowboys disappointment – a first-round loss at home to the San Francisco 49ers.
Those blues continue into the new season when Dak Prescott left yesterday’s season opener vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dak Prescott hit his thumb on the helmet of an opposing Buccaneers player on a screen pass. Reports after the game confirmed it was a fracture, and he’ll be out for 6-8 weeks.
The hopes for the Dallas Cowboys’ season have changed from “winning the division and going to the playoffs” to “surviving until Dak gets back”. The options they have to replace Dak Prescott are minimal. Let’s look at some of the options that Jerry Jones and Mike McCarthy will consider for the next couple of months.
Cooper Rush & Will Grier: What’s On The Roster Now
The most obvious place to look for options is on the depth chart. Dallas Cowboys fans would love to have an option like Andy Dalton on the depth chart, but alas, they don’t.
Numbers 2 and 3 on the Dallas Cowboys QB depth chart are Cooper Rush and Will Grier. Rush took over for Dak Prescott during the Week 1 19-3 loss to the Buccaneers. He went 7-for-13 with 64 yards for the rest of the game.
While Rush’s performance may not have impressed, Grier is even MORE inexperienced than Rush, with only two NFL starts on his resume. Grier has been on the practice squad for a year and hasn’t seen active NFL play since 2019.
Free Agent Barrel
Anyone who has played fantasy football knows what it’s like when your quarterback goes down, and you have to pull from the waiver wire. Jerry Jones and Mike McCarthy must have a sick feeling in their stomach.
Since the season has started, the rolls of free agents who are ready to walk in off the street are thin. It’s a group highlighted by names like Cam Newton and Mike Glennon. One of these might be a nice backup option to whomever the Dallas Cowboys decide on as the starter, but they’d have to get them up to speed FAST.
Possible Trade Opportunities
While it’s unlikely that the Dallas Cowboys could work out a trade this week without paying a significant cost, our eyes go to the backup spot on depth charts around the rest of the league to see if there are any deals that the Cowboys could work out.
The most obvious name that jumps out is Jimmy Garoppolo, but I doubt that he goes anywhere given Trey Lance’s uncertain opening performance. The 49ers intend to contend this year, and if they need to slot Jimmy G back in, they will.
A few names with former starting experience jump off of some depth charts – Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, and Gardner Minshew are some of the ones that stand out.
Jerry Jones likes to wheel and deal, but I don’t see how the Dallas Cowboys can get someone to Dallas quickly without giving up significant draft or roster capital. Dallas Cowboys fans should get used to watching Cooper Rush line up under center and hope that they can manage until Dak Prescott returns in the middle of the season.
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