Why the Dallas Cowboys don’t need a QB3 in 2021

The Dallas Cowboys need to go long at a handful of defensive positions this season which inevitably means they must go short elsewhere. One of those places they could go short is at quarterback.

In a move that could be seen as nothing short of reckless, the Dallas Cowboys could forgo the QB3 position on the final roster and roll the dice with just Dak Prescott and his primary back-up. Coming off a season in which the QB1 was lost for more than 11 games, that may seem crazy. But I’m here to tell it makes perfect sense.

The Dallas Cowboys would be wise to go short at quarterback this season

Most NFL teams like to carry at least two back-ups at the QB position: One to be the veteran presence and hold down the fort in case the starter goes down. The other, to be the longer-term developmental prospect.

The Cowboys appear to have the veteran in Garrett Gilbert but nothing in the way of a developmental prospect. So keeping a third QB would do little more than ensure against injury to the back-up QB.

I know what many of you are thinking  – QB is the most important position on the football field. If one spot was worth double-insuring, isn’t it here? After all, we saw Dallas churn through QBs all season after Dak went down.

In response to that, I’ll turn to the great Tom Moore. In Ron Jaworski’s book, “The games that Changed the Game”, Jaws recalls a conversation he once had with the former Colts coach. When asked why Peyton Manning was getting all the snaps in practice Moore replied quite epically:

“Fellas, if 18 goes down, we’re ‘F*$@ed’. And we don’t practice ‘f*$@ed’.”

In much the same way, if No. 4 goes down again this season, the Dallas Cowboys are “effed”. We saw what it looks like last season when an average QB takes the helm. Andy Dalton is basically the definition of “average QB” in the NFL and he played so poorly the Cowboys passing offense somehow posted a negative EPA once Dak went down (In other words, the Cowboys passing offense hurt them more than they helped).

Someone like Gilbert could be fine as a one or two game fill-in, but if Dak is lost long-term, the season is essentially over. There’s no way Dallas can compete for a Super Bowl with anyone not named “Dak” under helm.

And frankly the difference between a QB3 and a street free agent is minimal anyway. Instead of preparing for that the Dallas Cowboys would be much better served keeping an extra defensive back or an extra defensive lineman.

Luckily for us, just because Dak Prescott injured his ankle once, doesn’t mean he’s more likely to injury it again. A properly healed ankle will get him exactly back to square one, and that’s the guy who didn’t miss a single game in four years.

Without a promising young prospect to groom, it doesn’t make sense to carry another QB on the roster all for a little perceived peace of mind. We all know what the Dallas Cowboys are if Dak Prescott goes down again this year. And we don’t need to practice that.

So don’t worry about the depth behind Dak.