The Dallas Cowboys already solidified their quarterback room this offseason by re-signing Cooper Rush, but the franchise could still be in the market for another signal-caller in the upcoming draft. USA Today’s K.D. Drummond offered an interesting solution for Dallas in his latest seven-round mock draft.
Drummond has the Cowboys trading up with the Packers in the seventh round in order to keep former TCU quarterback Max Duggan in the DFW area. The trade proposal has Dallas moving up from the 27th pick in the seventh round to the 18th selection while sending Green Bay a future seventh rounder.
Back in February, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones went public with his commitment to drafting a quarterback. It remains to be seen if Jones will stay true to his word now that Dallas has re-signed Rush. The Cowboys may need to target Duggan before the seventh round as the Horned Frogs star is projected to be a mid-to-late round selection in April’s draft.
“Jerry Jones said the Cowboys are committed to drafting a quarterback,” The Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins tweeted on February 1. “He said he should have committed to drafting one every year years ago.”
Cooper Rush Has Playing-Time Bonuses Built Into His New Deal With the Cowboys
There was some concern that Rush would depart in free agency potentially joining a new franchise where the veteran had a chance to compete to be a QB1. Instead, the quarterback musical chairs came and went without Rush finding an empty seat prompting the signal-caller to re-sign with Dallas. Not only did the Cowboys re-sign Rush, but the franchise was able to get the quarterback back on a two-year deal.
According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, Rush’s new deal is heavily incentivized and can be worth as much as $6 million. Given Dak Prescott’s injury history, Rush has a chance to earn more money based on playing-time incentives. Rush earns $250,000 if he plays 45% of the offensive snaps and lands another $250,000 if he hits the 55% mark.
“Cooper Rush contract breakdown 2 years, $5 million, $6 million max,” Archer tweeted on March 19. “Bonus: $1.25 million 2023 base salary: $1.5 million (guaranteed) 2024 base salary: 2.25 million Incentives: 45% playtime: $250,000 55% playtime: $250,000 2023 cap number: $2.125 million.”
Jerry Jones Called Max Duggan ‘the Most Impressive Quarterback in My Mind’ at the Senior Bowl
Duggan threw for 3,698 yards, 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 63.7% of his passes in 15 appearances for TCU last season. The playmaking quarterback proved to be a threat with his legs adding 423 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.
Duggan had 28 rushing touchdowns during his four seasons at TCU, more than many running backs notched over this same span. During Senior Bowl week, Jones admitted to being impressed with Duggan while seeing him up close.
“Jerry Jones isn’t unbiased about DFW players. Still, unprompted, Jerry said Max Duggan ‘stood out’ in good practice today,” Yahoo Sports’ Jori Epstein tweeted on February 1. “‘He just looked comfortable. He looked confident. And he was really throwing the ball around. He was certainly the most impressive quarterback in my mind.'”
Max Duggan Is Drawing Comparisons to Sam Ehlinger Heading Into the NFL Draft
Dallas already faces a decision at the position given the franchise also has Will Grier under contract for 2023 meaning the Cowboys have three quarterbacks on the roster heading into the draft. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein sees similarities between Duggan and another nearby Texas product Sam Ehlinger.
“Scrappy quarterback possessing the attitude, toughness and leadership that teams love,” Zierlein wrote on March 23. “Duggan has proven himself to be capable of overcoming adversity and finding ways to help his team win with his arm or legs. 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.”