The Dallas Cowboys are bringing in competition to potentially compete to be the backup behind franchise quarterback Dak Prescott. ESPN’s Todd Archer reported the Cowboys are hosting former Ohio State star J.T. Barrett and Illinois State’s Brady Davis for tryouts.
“Turns out Ben DiNucci is not eligible to participate in the rookie minicamp this weekend after all,” Archer detailed. “He can take part in the Rookie Football Development Program that starts next week. The Cowboys are bringing in two quarterbacks on a tryout basis: Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, who has spent time with New Orleans, Seattle and Pittsburgh since 2018, and Illinois State’s Brady Davis.”
Barrett has bounced around the NFL since his standout college career with the Buckeyes. Most recently, Barrett was signed by the Steelers in December 2019 before the team released him prior to the start of last season. From 2018 to 2019, Barrett had several short stints with the Saints but is looking for a new home heading into 2021.
Barrett posted 3,053 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing 64.7% of his passes in his senior season at Ohio State in 2017. The quarterback is also a threat with his legs adding 798 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.
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The Cowboys Passed on Signing Jeff Driskel
The Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken reported the Cowboys brought in Jeff Driskel for a May 7th visit, adding there was a “good chance” the quarterback signed with Dallas. Driskel ended up leaving his visit without a new deal, and the Cowboys are clearly in the market for another quarterback to compete to be Prescott’s backup.
The former Florida quarterback has had short stints with the Bengals, Lions and Broncos. Driskel played in three games last season for the Broncos throwing for 432 yards and three touchdowns while completing 54.7% of his passes.
Dallas currently has Cooper Rush, Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci on the roster who are all expected to compete for the role vacated by Andy Dalton. Prior to the draft, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy indicated the team is interested in adding more competition to the quarterback room. The Cowboys focused heavily on defense in the draft and did not address the quarterback position.
“You’re always looking to upgrade that position, whether it’s via the draft or free agency,” McCarthy noted, per WFAA.com. “I will say we definitely want to add some competition to the room.”
Davis Put up Modest Numbers at Illinois State
At 6’4″ and 210 pounds, Davis has the physical characteristics NFL teams covet in a quarterback. Davis spent his first college season at Memphis before transferring to Illinois State. The quarterback had 1,570 passing yards, nine touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing 52.3% of his passes in 2020. During a February interview with SB Nation’s Zach Hicks, Davis described his outlook heading into the NFL.
“Starting with off the field, just a guy who really loves this game and spends a lot of time with it and wouldn’t rather do anything else in the world,” Davis explained. “A guy who has always been good to people too and has been raised that way to always have an upbeat and positive attitude. There’s not many people that have caught me on a bad day and especially not in the football building because that’s where I’m at my happiest. I think you are getting a guy who will treat everybody in the building right and loves football. On the field, I’m a guy who can make plays and be accurate with the ball while pushing it down the field. I have some speed and can create things with my arm.”