The Dallas Cowboys passed on taking a quarterback during the NFL draft and also have been quiet in the undrafted market until now. Dallas invited former Elon standout Matthew McKay to the team’s rookie minicamp, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota. The move allows the Cowboys to get a closer look at a developmental quarterback prospect but also serves a practical purpose as the team did not have a rookie signal-caller to throw to receivers during minicamp.
“The Cowboys will have QB Matthew McKay at their rookie minicamp later this week,” Machota tweeted on May 8, 2023. “He completed 61% of his passes last season at Elon for 2,690 yards, 21 TDs and 4 INTs. He also rushed for 458 yards and 3 TDs. He began his college career at North Carolina State.”
McKay spent his first two collegiate seasons at NC State with the quarterback throwing for 910 yards, three touchdowns and one interception while completing 57.3% of his passes in 2019. The playmaker also added 63 rushing yards and 4 TDs on the ground during this same season.
Cowboys Rumors: Dallas Considered Drafting Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell
Leading up to the NFL draft, owner Jerry Jones was open about his desire to add a rookie quarterback. Yet, the draft came and went without Dallas making a move at the position.
Part of the challenge is Dallas already has three quarterbacks on the active roster: Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush and Will Grier. According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the Cowboys considered selecting former Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell in the fourth round before snagging pass rusher Viliami Fehoko at No. 129.
“I think they almost took Aidan O’Connell there in the fourth round,” Archer noted during a May 1 edition of 105.3 The Fan’s “Shan and RJ.” “I think he was up for discussion at No. 129 before they took [Viliami] Fehoko. …Listen, they like the three guys that they have.”
Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy on Quarterback Room: ‘I Really Like the Progress Will Grier Has Made’
After the draft, head coach Mike McCarthy admitted that a rookie quarterback would have a challenging time making the final roster. Grier will likely be fighting for a roster spot himself as Dallas could opt to only keep Prescott and Rush heading into Week 1. McKay faces an uphill battle to make the roster, but it will be worth watching to see if the signal-caller can earn a training camp invite.
“Definitely [wanted to take a developmental quarterback]. There was definitely some guys that we really liked,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said 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.”