Ryan Fitzpatrick’s surprise benching in Miami has prompted fans and media alike to speculate on a possible trade involving the flamboyant greybeard quarterback. The Dallas Cowboys were floated as a would-be suitor given Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury and backup Andy Dalton’s uninspiring Week 6 effort.
To which Michael Irvin boomed, “Hell no.”
“Stop. Stop. Not Ryan Fitzpatrick,” the former Cowboys great and current NFL analyst said Thursday on 105.3 The Fan. “You gotta give me another name. I just can’t take Ryan. I love Ryan. I think he’s a great dude, (has) a great attitude. Don’t bring somebody who’s playing basketball in the NFL, bouncing from team to team. How much hope will that give me?”
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Probably more hope than Dalton, to answer the rhetorical question. Nobody will confuse Fitzpatrick for Joe Montana, but the well-documented journeyman was performing at a solid level in 2020, leading the Dolphins to a 3-3 record. He’s completed 138-of-197 passes (70.1%) for 1,535 yards, 10 touchdowns, and seven interceptions across six starts, adding 135 yards and two scores on the ground.
The former Ram, Bengal, Bill, Titan, Texan, Jet, and Buc — the man known as “Fitzmagic” — has never been a foundational QB at any point amid his 16 NFL years. There’s a reason he’s also nicknamed “Fitztragic.” He’s erratic, inconsistent, turnover prone. He too often freelances, devolving into backyard football. When it works, it’s brilliant. But when it doesn’t, it’s capital-B Bad. And no front office is willing to hitch their wagon to his star.
Admittedly “heartbroken” by the Dolphins’ decision to insert first-round rookie Tua Tagovailoa on their bye week, there’s undoubtedly gas left in the 37-year-old’s tank should he play again this season, in South Florida or elsewhere. He’s a perfect mentor to Tua and unlikely to raise a further stink, so the chances of his immediate departure are slim — and the Cowboys’ interest slimmer.
Irvin, although intrigued by the potential availability of Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, is of the mind that no outside signal-caller would, now or for the long term, represent an upgrade on the Cowboys’ in-house starter, whose value increases with each snap Dalton handles.
“All the fighting about is Dak worth this, is Dak worth that? Sit down! Just sit down, buddy. We’re seeing right now, yes, he’s worth it,” Irvin said. “Yes, that defense is bad, but at least Dak had them in the game, coming back, and having a shot at winning the game.”
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Jerry to Stick with No. 14?
To an extent, Dallas owner/general manager Jerry Jones is simpatico with The Playmaker, acknowledging a “pretty glaring difference” under center in Monday’s 38-10 loss to Arizona. Prescott can do things Dalton can’t; it just isn’t physiologically feasible. Not even The Showman can spin it otherwise.
It’s largely immaterial, however. While Jones confirmed the likelihood of the team acquiring a player before the Nov. 3 trade deadline, that player probably won’t be Dalton’s replacement, another Band-Aid to put over a bullet hole, he indicated.
“We can get the most out of our team and it could be enough with Andy Dalton,” Jones said Tuesday, via USA Today. “We didn’t last night. He contributed to the turnovers early. We had a play that could have been a turnover right off that would’ve been significant. But we can get there with Andy.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL