Floating three trade proposals that “make sense” prior to training camp, John Owning of the Dallas Morning News connected the Cowboys to Chicago’s Nick Foles — the “perfect candidate” for the QB2 gig behind Dak Prescott.
“I’ve mentioned it countless times throughout this offseason, but Dallas’ backup QB situation makes me nervous,” Owning wrote. “While the Cowboys season would be lost if Dak Prescott missed a big chunk of the season again, Dallas is still devoid of a backup QB who can keep the ship afloat even for just a game or two if Prescott gets knicked up.
“Therefore, I think it would be wise if the Cowboys gave the Chicago Bears a call about Nick Foles. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Foles would provide a significant upgrade over Dallas’ current crop of backup QB in terms of both ability and experience, making him the perfect candidate who can keep Dallas’ offense afloat for a game or two if Prescott is forced to miss time.”
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Cost of Potential Swap
Owning maintains the Cowboys should send a late-round draft pick to the Bears in exchange for Foles, who’s under contract through 2022, his age-33 campaign. The ex-Eagles QB — MVP of Super Bowl 52 — agreed to a restructured three-year deal upon arriving via trade from Jacksonville in 2020. He has remaining salary-cap charges of $6.66 million and $10.66 million.
“Trading for Foles would cost Dallas $4 million in cap space (Dallas currently has a little more than $5 million in cap space, per Over the Cap), which is high for a backup QB but certainly still doable if Foles isn’t enthused about restructuring his contract to become more cap-friendly,” Owning wrote.
“It was smart that the Cowboys sniffed around the free-agent QB market first, bringing in Jeff Driskel and Brett Hundley for visits; however, since neither agreed to terms, the Cowboys would be wise to look to the trade market to find a capable, experienced backup QB, and it probably wouldn’t cost more than a fifth- or sixth-round pick, which isn’t nearly as valuable as having Foles as the team’s backup QB.”
If left unchanged, Dallas’ QB depth chart will consist of Prescott, former AAF star Garrett Gilbert, 2020 seventh-rounder Ben DiNucci, and ex-practice squadder Cooper Rush. Gilbert is the tentative favorite to win the job heading into the upcoming season.
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New Dak Projection Released
On June 15, Pro Football Focus released its official 2021 statistical projections for Prescott, the newly minted richest player in franchise history: 4,601 passing yards and 27 touchdowns.
Assuming PFF is accurate, Prescott will enjoy a top-five season which likely results in a postseason berth — and then some. But it still would fall short of his personal bests. The numbers pale in comparison to Prescott’s eye-popping 2019 when the two-time Pro Bowler logged career highs in completions (388), yards (4,902), yards per completion (12.6) and TDs (30).
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL