Cowboys Insider Addresses Potential Signing of Ex-Rams QB

Blake Bortles with Rams

Getty Blake Bortles with Rams

For the second time this offseason, the media is attempting to arrange a marriage between Blake Bortles and the Dallas Cowboys.

And this time, the Cowboys actually might propose.

In the wake of the right (throwing) shoulder injury to franchise quarterback Dak Prescott, the team has begun evaluating its backup options for the 2021 season, of which there are many. Such as in-house holdovers Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush, and Ben DiNucci — a former AAF star, practice-squadder, and seventh-round pick, respectively.

Or, perhaps, a veteran free-agent like Bortles, who was released earlier this week by the Green Bay Packers. He’s experienced, would come cheap, and, most importantly, provide the club a safer parachute behind Prescott should disaster strike (again).

On Thursday, the official Cowboys website speculated about a potential Bortles signing.

“I’ve been in favor of that idea since before the Packers signed him,” reporter David Helman wrote in his latest mailbag. “We all know that his career has been disappointing, but he does have 73 starts and 103 touchdowns to his name. I don’t see the harm in bringing him in to at least bolster the competition. The Cowboys considered a couple other veterans over the summer, so I doubt we’ll have to wait long to see if there’s any interest.”

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Background on Bortles

The No. 3 overall pick of the 2014 draft, Bortles has thrown for over 17,000 yards, 103 touchdowns, and 73 interceptions across 78 career games and four teams — stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2014-18), Los Angeles Rams (2019, 2020), Denver Broncos (2020), and Packers (2021).

Bortles, 29, has not logged a regular-season appearance since 2019 and lasted just two months in Green Bay before receiving his walking papers. Before that, the ex-UCF star was relegated to strict emergency “duty,” or lack thereof. Inarguably, if added, he’d represent a downgrade on last year’s QB2, Andy Dalton, and, the case can be made, this year’s tentative QB2.

“I don’t know if Bortles is a better player than Garrett Gilbert,” argued Rob Phillips of the official Cowboys website. “I do know the Cowboys have and will probably continue to keep their eyes open for competition at that backup spot, depending on what their cap space will allow for. And that would be wise. Dak’s shoulder strain is another reminder that the backup is one play away, even though this injury isn’t considered a long-term thing.”

Bortles has yet to conduct an official workout with Dallas, who throughout the offseason hosted (and opted against signing) free-agent QBs Jeff Driskel, J.T. Barrett, Brady Davis, and Brett Hundley.

“That’s why he’s sitting here as the No. 2, and he’s done nothing but continue to impress Mike [McCarthy] and Kellen [Moore] in terms of what they feel like he could do if called upon,” Cowboys COO Stephen Jones recently said of Gilbert, via ESPN’s Todd Archer. “Feel like he can win a game for us, or games.”

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