The Dallas Cowboys have made a final decision regarding the signing of a “big-name” quarterback.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Cowboys are unlikely to bring in a starting quarterback following Dak Prescott’s injury.
“As of now, the Cowboys do not plan to trade for a starting quarterback, barring an unforeseen development,” says Fowler. “A source told me that path is unlikely. Dak Prescott’s improved timeline (he has a chance to return in October) and the team’s familiarity with Cooper Rush helps them stay patient here. So, the most likely scenario is Dallas adds a third quarterback via the practice squad and elevates backup Will Grier on game day. I don’t expect the team to sign free agent Cam Newton. It will probably acquire somebody else.”
As Bleacher Report’s Mike Chiari noted based upon Fowler’s report, the Cowboys are not planning to make any trade for a quarterback — which would include the likes of the San Francisco 49ers‘ Jimmy Garoppolo and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mason Rudolph.
“According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, the Cowboys are unlikely to trade for a quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers or Mason Rudolph of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they aren’t expected to sign a big-name quarterback like Cam Newton either,” says Chiari.
Why Cowboys May Not Have Interest in Newton
The Cowboys shutting down the idea of adding Newton has some reason to it. The former NFL MVP failed to win in any of his five starts last season with the Carolina Panthers. Newton has thrown 12 touchdowns versus 15 interceptions over the past two seasons, posting a 64.4 passer rating last season and a 82.9 passer rating the previous season.
However, he does still possess the ability to run the football, which means he has some appeal in RPO situations. Newton posted 12 touchdowns during the 2020 season and five last season, ranking fourth in the league in rushing touchdowns in 2020.
At this stage of his career, Newton is basically a serviceable backup at best with the ability to used in specialty package situations.
The Cowboys’ lack of interest in adding a veteran quarterback means they’ll ride with Cooper Rush as their starting quarterback until Prescott returns. The only other quarterback in the organization is Will Grier, who has just three career starts to his name.
While the move is a little bit surprising considering the inexperience of Rush and Grier — four combined starts among the two quarterbacks — it’s the direction team owner Jerry Jones indicated the Cowboys would head into during an interview shortly after Prescott’s injury.
“Those guys [Rush and Grier] know the offense well, have had a lot of reps in it and consequently give us our best shot,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan’s Shan and RJ. “It’s unlikely since we don’t have any potential trade pending — not pending, but in the mill — it’s unlikely that you’d have a veteran quarterback that could get back in here and be ready to play as well as those guys can play, even if you thought you might have a talent advantage.”
Prescott May Not Return Until Week 10
Considering Prescott will be out of the mix for a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of eight weeks, the Cowboys will hope that Rush can keep the team afloat. If Prescott is out for at least four weeks, that would mean Rush would start versus the Cincinnati Bengals. New York Giants, Washington Commanders and Los Angeles Rams — at the very least.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Prescott’s return will likely occur in Week 8 versus the Chicago Bears or in Week 10 versus the Green Bay Packers (after the bye), as noted by Grant Gordon of NFL.com.
“Prescott’s return could be Oct. 30 against the Chicago Bears or, after the bye week, Nov. 13 against the Green Bay Packers,” says Gordon. “He sustained the injury in Sunday night’s 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”
With the Cowboys unlikely to add any significant options at quarterback, Rush will have to keep the team afloat as they face three playoff teams — Bengals, Rams and Philadelphia Eagles — over the next five weeks.