The Dallas Cowboys could be looking at their newest quarterback.
As Jane Slater of NFL Network reports, the Cowboys are one of three teams expressing interest in selecting TCU quarterback Max Duggan in the 2023 NFL Draft.
“He (Duggan) is currently drawing interest from the Chargers, Jets and Cowboys,” reported Slater on Thursday, March 30. “He is currently training with Jordan Palmer ahead of the draft.”
Max Duggan Projects as Backup QB in NFL
The 22-year-old Duggan is coming off of a sensational senior season that saw him lead the Horned Frogs to a National Championship Game appearance along with finishing second in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Despite his collegiate accomplishments, Duggan is not expected to be drafted in the first round. In fact, he’s projected to be a late-round pick with the expectation that he’ll be an NFL backup. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com raves over Duggan’s intangibles, but he also points out his limited arm strength.
“Scrappy quarterback possessing the attitude, toughness and leadership that teams love Duggan has proven himself to be capable of overcoming adversity and finding ways to help his team win with his arm or legs,” said Zierlein. “However, he has limited arm strength and frequently forces receivers to break stride on deep balls and crossing routes. Duggan’s intangibles give him a chance to become an NFL backup but his limitations as a passer cap his ceiling.”
In his NFL player comparison for Duggan, Zierlein compares the TCU alum to Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger. The 24-year-old Ehlinger was selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Colts and briefly served as a starter — three games — during the 2022 season before he was benched.
An anonymous area scout of an NFC squad details Duggan’s prospect profile rather well, playing up his intangibles while also noting his lack of elite talent.
“Great makeup and leadership,” said the scout. “I don’t think he’s super talented, but I think coaches will like him more than some of the quarterbacks in their room.”
Cowboys Committed to Selecting QB in 2023 NFL Draft
The Cowboys currently have three quarterbacks on its roster in starter Dak Prescott and backups Cooper Rush and Will Grier. Rush entered the offseason as a free agent, but Dallas opted to re-sign its long-term backup to a two-year, $5 million deal. While Rush is expected to enter the 2023 season as Prescott’s backup, Grier’s salary for the 2023 season is not guaranteed. In other words, Dallas could hold an open competition for the No. 3 quarterback job.
Prior to Rush’s re-signing, team owner Jerry Jones made it clear that the Cowboys intended to enter the draft with the idea that they would select a quarterback. In fact, after the Senior Bowl, Jones committed to the idea that Dallas would draft a quarterback.
Via Calvin Watkins of The Dallas Morning News:
“Jerry Jones said the Cowboys are committed to drafting a quarterback,” Watkins said on Feb. 1. “He said he should have committed to drafting one every year years ago.”
With Duggan not expected to be selected until the later rounds — The Draft Network gives him fifth-round value — the Cowboys could draft Duggan with the intention that he’ll serve as a developmental quarterback.