The Dallas Cowboys are considered a possible landing spot for one of the better-known retired quarterbacks.
Noah Strackbein of Sports Illustrated wrote that former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is listed as a possibility to sign with the Cowboys, whose starting quarterback, Dak Prescott, is recovering from an injury. According to BetOnline.AG, Roethlisberger sits at 50/1 odds to sign with Dallas.
Other retired quarterbacks of note are Ryan Fitzpatrick (13/2), Andrew Luck (66/1), Phillip Rivers (50/1) and Drew Brees (66/1).
“Believe it or not, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is on the list as a possibility for the Dallas Cowboys’ next quarterback signing,” Strackbein wrote. “Surely something all fans fully expect to happen. According to BetOnline.ag, Roethlisberger could find himself in Dallas as their next quarterback to be signed. Currently, he sits at 50/1 odds to join the Cowboys this season.”
Roethlisberger Was ‘Forced’ Into Retirement, Says Insider
Roethlisberger retired following the conclusion of the 2021 season after spending all 18 years of his career with the Steelers. The 40-year-old quarterback has shown no signs of an interest in a comeback, but he did say he felt that he was forced into retirement by Pittsburgh.
“First off, my coach and GM don’t want me back,” Roethlisberger said during the offseason. “Second of all, I’m pretty content with where I’m at. Being a bus driver, making lunches in the morning.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac appeared to back Roethlisberger’s statement in his mailbag column in May.
Billy Bob: Is there bad blood between the Steelers and Big Ben with how his career ended. Was he ready to retire or was it a Troy type situation he was forced into it?
Gerry Dulac: I would say it’s very very safe to assume that.
Roethlisberger wasn’t exactly impressive during his final season in the NFL. Though he led the Steelers to the postseason, he ranked as one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the league. According to Pro Football Focus, Roethlisberger produced a 55.8 offensive grade during the 2021 season. That grade ranked him second to last among all starting quarterbacks, ahead of only the Carolina Panthers’ Sam Darnold.
The Cowboys are currently riding with Cooper Rush as their starting quarterback with Prescott expected to be sidelined anywhere from four to eight weeks due to surgery on his thumb.
Cowboys Unlikely to Add Big Name at QB
Even before Dallas’ Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals with Rush at the helm, team owner Jerry Jones ruled out the idea of the team making a big move for a quarterback.
“As of now, Cowboys do not plan to pursue significant trade for a QB barring unforeseen change, per source,” ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Tuesday, September 13. “Cowboys won’t take any possibility completely off table, but with Dak Prescott’s improved timeline and Cooper Rush’s familiarity with offense, team feels it can be patient.”
The only quarterback move the team made prior to their Week 2 game versus the Bengals was promoting practice squad quarterback Will Grier to the active roster.
In Rush’s first start of the season, the 28-year-old completed 19-of-31 passes for 235 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions and a solid 95.5 quarterback rating. Rush is now 2-0 as a starting quarterback after leading the Cowboys to a victory over the Minnesota Vikings in his lone start of last season.
To top it all off, Prescott may not be out as long as many expected. In fact, Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan that the starting quarterback could return as soon as Week 3 versus the New York Giants.
“He’s got a chance, maybe the third or fourth game,” Jones said of Prescott’s recovery, per Pro Football Talk. “We’ll see what happens.”
With Rush doing just fine as the team’s short-term start, Prescott’s return on the horizon and Roethlisberger a happy retired quarterback, this idea if more of a dream scenario than anything else.