The Dallas Cowboys hosted seven free agents for a June 5, 2023 workout including two quarterbacks: Jacob Eason and Bryce Perkins, per team reporter Patrik Walker. Eason is particularly intriguing given his status as a former five-star recruit and was once considered a potential first-round pick.
Yet, the former Washington Huskies standout has struggled to establish himself as a legitimate NFL quarterback. Eason was part of the Seahawks quarterback competition alongside Geno Smith and Drew Lock during the 2022 training camp but ended a distant third behind the two veterans before ultimately being released as Seattle finalized their 53-man roster ahead of Week 1.
Most recently, Eason signed a reserve/future contract with the Panthers in January before being released in May. Aside from the Seahawks and Panthers, Eason has also had stints with the 49ers and Colts. Eason slipped to the fourth round of the 2020 NFL draft where Indianapolis stopped his slide.
Cowboys Rumors: Will Dallas Sign a Fourth QB to Compete With Will Grier for Roster Spot?
Dallas hosting Perkins and Eason indicates the Cowboys front office is considering bringing in a fourth quarterback to compete against Will Grier for the third roster spot at the position. The team was able to re-sign Cooper Rush this offseason, and the veteran is expected to serve as the backup quarterback behind Dak Prescott.
Despite months of hinting at a possible move during the draft, the Cowboys opted against selecting a signal-caller. Head coach Mike McCarthy indicated the team has confidence in Grier, who strongly challenged Rush for the QB2 role during the 2022 training camp.
“Definitely [wanted to take a developmental quarterback]. There was definitely some guys that we really liked,” McCarthy remarked during an April 29 press conference. “But I think the other thing too, as I recall, I think every one of these young men, all eight of them, were the highest-ranked player on the board. … The trust of the board was right on the money all three days.
“But yeah, I really like the progress Will Grier has made. He’s been here the whole time. Obviously, Cooper gives us that veteran presence and everything, so it’s a very healthy room. Having a fourth quarterback is a little bit more of a challenge in today’s NFL than it was years ago. So all those things factor in.”
Heading Into the 2020 NFL Draft, Jacob Eason Drew Comparisons to Carson Palmer
Going into the beginning of his collegiate career at Georgia, Eason was the No. 4 overall rated prospect as a five-star quarterback, per 247Sports. Eason opted to transfer to Washington given the Bulldogs had a longterm starter in Jake Fromm.
The 6’6″ quarterback threw for 3,132 yards, 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 64.2% of his passes with the Huskies in 2019. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compared Eason to longtime veteran Carson Palmer heading into the 2020 draft.
“His elite size and arm talent are reminiscent of Carson Palmer, but issues with pocket poise and getting through progressions cleanly are more reminiscent of Brock Osweiler,” Zierlein wrote in his pre-draft profile. “Eason is fun to watch when he’s ripping throws around the field and taking deep play-action shots, but a lack of mobility inside and outside the pocket is troubling, considering his ineffectiveness when pressured.
“He’s relatively inexperienced and should continue to develop from the pocket, but poise is hard to fix, and handling exotic blitz packages is not a given. He’s a pro-style, play-action-based quarterback with average starter potential and an average backup floor.”