Watching the Eagles two years ago, the Dallas Cowboys witnessed firsthand what the power of a strong backup quarterback can do for a team.
Nick Foles (re)taught the NFL about the importance of QB2. When QB2 Nick Foles guided Philadelphia to win the Super Bowl two seasons ago, the Dallas Cowboys and everyone else had to take notice. No longer could QB2 be an afterthought.
Since Jerry Jones took over the Dallas Cowboys franchise on February 25, 1989, he’s been averse to drafting depth at the quarterback position. Why would I want to develop a quarterback for someone else, he famously said.
But that doesn’t mean the Dallas Cowboys are against the idea of adding veteran depth to the stable. The Dallas Cowboys have somewhat recently employed veterans Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, Brad Johnson, and Randall Cunningham, just to name a few.
And as we mentioned, only two years ago they saw the value of a veteran quarterback, when they witnessed the unheralded Nick Foles guide NFC East rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, to their first Super Bowl victory.
So why are the Dallas Cowboys neglecting the QB2 spot this season?
Much like we shy away from talking about a no-hitter mid-game, Cowboys Nation has been hesitant to admit the tremendous window of opportunity the Dallas Cowboys have in 2019. With majority of their cornerstone players still on rookie deals, 2019 may be the last season the original band plays together.
As we discussed in “the salary cap is fake news, Dallas can afford all their players”, Dallas is well positioned to pay Dak Prescott over $30 million per year AND re-sign all their key players. But, that doesn’t mean they will. If they feel they want more financial flexibility, or are hesitant to invest in a particular player or two, they could decide to low ball one or two of their free-agent’s to-be, and let them walk in free agency.
Think about it. At the very least this is probably the last year for Tyrone Crawford, Sean Lee, La’el Collins, Anthony Brown, Robert Quinn, Randell Cobb, and Maliek Collins. There’s a good chance Byron Jones goes too.
I’m not saying the window is closing but the window is about as open this season as it’s been in a long time. As such, it seems like a strange time to mess around with inadequately filling the QB2 spot.
Sport DFW writer, Dan Ruppert, addressed this a couple weeks ago. Mike White and Cooper Rush haven’t inspired much confidence. If Dak Prescott is lost for any significant period of time, the Dallas Cowboys are, as the Canadians say, “hosed”.
The sad truth is, a good veteran QB2 probably wouldn’t help the Dallas Cowboys anyway. Does anyone believe Jason Garrett and staff can adapt their offense to fit the skills of their QB2 like the Eagles did in 2017? I sure as heck don’t.
Dallas has an ugly history of just throwing their backup signal callers out in the deep end and expecting him win games playing straight up. Weeden and Cassel were exposed because the Cowboys exposed them. Nick Foles succeeded because the Philly coaches adapted for him.
Before Philly even picked up Nick Foles as a QB2, he was available on the NFL scrap heap – there for the taking. The Cowboys publicly said they weren’t interested. And neither were about 30 other teams. Heck, even the Eagles were barely interested.
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Ultimately Nick Foles succeeded because his coaches succeeded. The credit largely goes to the coaching staff. That’s why they let Foles walk and invested huge in postseason virgin, Carson Wentz. Wentz is good enough to do things on his own and together with great coaching, he can thrive a variety of ways. Backup QBs with their backup skillsets aren’t so easy to have success with.
Chances are the discussion of bringing a veteran QB2 into Dallas is only going to pick up heading into training camp. But would we know what to do with one even if we had him? I don’t think so. I don’t think Dallas could have won with Nick Foles in the way Philly did.
Maybe Kellen Moore proves me completely wrong and elevates the creativity and adaptiveness of the Dallas Cowboys offense significantly in 2019. But I’m doubtful he’ll be given enough latitude to do that even if he is the coach we all hope him to be.
Does Nick Foles success in Philly teach us anything about the QB2 position? It teaches us QB2s can succeed if the right coaches allow and enable them to do so. It also makes us assess the abilities of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff and wonder if they are even capable of building a successful game plan around a less talented signal caller.
- Published on 07/05/2019 at 12:35 PM
- Last updated at 07/05/2019 at 12:36 PM