Teams like the Dallas Cowboys want to be well-insulated at the QB position. The most impactful position in professional sports (with the possible exception of a goaltender) deserves the most attention. NFL head coaching ranks are dominated with former QB coaches for a reason: QB can make all the difference.
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is a former QB coach. He’s overseen the development of at least two Hall of Famers and half a dozen other viable players in the background. When the Dallas Cowboys stated their desire to add another young arm to stable of passers this spring, they did so McCarthy in mind.
Ask any quarterback guru and they’ll tell you, they want a young player they can mold. Obviously a franchise starter is their top request. And a stable veteran backing them up is another request. But nothing gets the blood flowing for these coaches quite like a moldable ball of clay.
Is it a problem the Dallas Cowboys didn’t draft a developmental QB prospect this year?
The last time the Dallas Cowboys really developed a QB was in 2016 when they drafted a guy named Dak Prescott in the fourth round. Their long-time starter was aged and injury-prone and depth was seemingly required to survive as a franchise.
Even still, Prescott started as QB4 on the depth chart and didn’t look particularly sharp in his preseason rookie practices. Only after a series of injuries above him on the depth chart did his career start to take shape.
But that was then and this is now.
Even though Prescott has suffered fairly impactful injuries in each of the last three seasons, he’s in his physical prime and not considered injury-prone (yet). The Dallas Cowboys defense is better than it ever was in those years as well. Dan Quinn’s unit is a group a QB can lean on. Dallas saw that first hand when Cooper Rush took the helm early last season.
Unlike throughout the Tony Romo era, the Cowboys don’t need their QB to win the game. They are good enough to win by the strength of their defense.
Of course Mike McCarthy want to develop a QB. It’s in McCarthy’s bones to develop passers. It’s just not overly important.
Rush is back for another two year (possibly more). Prescott is back and under contract for two more years (probably more). Will Grier, a former Day 2 draft pick, is sitting in the background too. He hasn’t had much time to shown his development so maybe he’s the developmental prospect McCarthy wants/needs.
The Dallas Cowboys aren’t trying to survive an injury to Dak. That’s what Rush is for. They aren’t trying to find a replacement for Dak. There are zero plans to move on from him (given the structure of his contract, they almost HAVE TO re-sign him). Because of this, developing a young QB to eventually replace Prescott simply doesn’t fit the timeline.
In some cases, a developmental QB3 is a necessity. Age, depth, and overall roster might demand it. On the Cowboys, none of those things are issues.
Would McCarthy like to have a young QB3 to play with? Sure, all QB gurus would. But it’s not a need at this point in time. In the grand scheme of things, it’s no big deal.