The Dallas Cowboys could look at an unlikely option as their next quarterback.
According to Eric Edholm of NFL.com, a possible option for the Cowboys is none other than retired quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 39-year-old announced his retirement in June following a 17-year career that saw him start for nine different teams. Although Fitzpatrick now has a gig with Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football coverage, the veteran QB could be tempted to make a return with the Cowboys, Edholm suggested.
“Fitzpatrick turns 40 during Thanksgiving week. While he’s still involved in the pro game, as a part of Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football broadcast coverage, he might be completely at peace with his decision to hang ’em up,” Edholm wrote on September 12. “But if there’s ever someone who could hop off the couch (or out of the analyst chair) to throw a sidewinding, no-look bomb for a touchdown, it’s probably the bearded wonder. What a story that would be if it came to pass. ”
Starting quarterback Dak Prescott will be out for at least a month — and potentially up to eight weeks — due a thumb injury that required surgery. In the meantime, the Cowboys will go with the inexperienced Cooper Rush as the starting quarterback moving forward. In other words, Dallas has to look for a third option at quarterback, considering Will Grier — on the practice squad — is the only other quarterback in the organization.
Fitzpatrick Impressed During Stint With Dolphins
Fitzpatrick entered the 2021 season as the Washington Commanders’ starting quarterback. However, a hip subluxation injury suffered in the season opener ended up sidelining the journeyman quarterback for the remainder of the season.
During his most recent season of extended playing time, Fitzpatrick was solid (and arguably better than Tua Tagovailoa). He started seven games for the 2020 Miami Dolphins, posting a 4-3 record while throwing 13 touchdowns versus eight interceptions for a career-high 68.5% completion rate. According to Pro Football Focus, Fitzpatrick posted a 75.1 offensive grade, ranking 19th among starting quarterbacks.
That grade wasn’t a fluke, either, considering that Fitzpatrick posted a 76.5 offensive grade as the full-season starter for a 2019 Dolphins squad lacking any notable offensive skill position players. He also posted an even better 83.9 offensive grade with the playoff-less Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2018 season.
The fact that Fitzpatrick is a free agent who could be signed immediately — and at a cheap rate — could be at least somewhat appealing for the Cowboys. The other notable free agent quarterback on the market is Cam Newton, who has thrown more interceptions (16) than touchdowns (12) since a career-altering injury in 2018.
Jones Shuts Down Idea of Cowboys Trading for QB
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones essentially ruled out the idea of Dallas making a trade for a quarterback.
“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.”
If Dallas is adamant about not making a trade for another quarterback, free agency is the Cowboys’ only other route to pursue. In the latter scenario, Dallas could try to lure Fitzpatrick out of retirement.