Dallas Cowboys: Taylor Heinicke proves in-season QB2 search can pay off

The Dallas Cowboys could learn something from the Washington Football Team. I know, I laughed just typing those words. Ok, let me rephrase – the Cowboys could learn something from how Washington handled their QB situation last year. It appears that still requires further explanation.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves let’s clear some things up: The Washington Football Team is NOT the model franchise for how to approach the QB position. In recent drafts, they have repeatedly passed on the most most important position in football (QB) in order to add players at positions of less value.

Without a franchise QB to be seen, it’s no wonder why their QB room resembles their infamous broken sewage pipe at FedExField.  It also explains why this otherwise extremely talented team is thought to be nowhere near contender status by anyone living outside the Potomac drainage basin area. Teams without good QBs rarely win much in this league.

Remind me again why the Dallas Cowboys should follow their lead?

Oh yeah! Before they signed Ryan Fitzpatrick this offseason, the Washington Football team was led by journeyman QB Taylor Heinicke. While Heinicke is hardly a household name (and someone my computer is obsessed with auto-correcting to popular Dutch beverage, Heineken) he’s someone the Dallas Cowboys should pay attention to and possibly use as inspiration to keep their QB search alive throughout the season.

Taylor Heinicke was originally signed back in December of 2020. That’s right, the former Panther of the NFL and Battlehawk of the XFL was out there for the taking. The Dallas Cowboys could have had him but it was Ron Rivera who got it done.

I’m not here to make the case Taylor Heinicke is a legit franchise QB. I’m not even trying to say he’s even a QB1. All I’m saying is he’s better than what the Dallas Cowboys currently have behind Dak Prescott on the depth chart and for that reason he’s an example to learn from.

The lesson to take from this is because the Cowboys have such an ugly situation at QB2, they should keep churning talent at the QB position.

Cooper Rush may have won the QB battle in the preseason but let’s be honest about how that job was won; Rush was really just the least terrible option the Cowboys had. I don’t think anyone believes he’s a good back-up in the NFL and it’s probably safe to say he’s a bottom-five QB2 in the NFL this season.

Taylor Heinicke, on the other hand, is a pretty good back-up. In two games played (in relief last season and this season) the former Old Dominion signal-caller locked in passer ratings of 137 and 122 respectively. That came out to roughly a 50 QBR which puts him right at “average”.

While that sample size is extremely small and ignores his putrid stretch in Carolina, it does show that he can find success when thrust into action at the last minute. I’m not sure anyone is expecting Cooper Rush to be anything even close to average if he has to enter a game.

The lesson to take from this is because the Cowboys have such an ugly situation at QB2, they should keep churning talent at the QB position. The idea of simply sitting back and accepting Cooper Rush, Will Grier and <gasp> Ben DiNucci are the depth, is enough to make my stomach turn and it should turn yours as well.

The Dallas Cowboys need to keep turning rocks because the Washington Football Teams proved you can find a decent back-up during the season.