The Dallas Cowboys don’t need a new starting quarterback. Let’s just get that out of the way right now in case anyone is confused about the focus of this column.
Dallas has three quarterbacks on the active roster in starter Tony Romo, backup Kyle Orton and third-string project Stephen McGee. The latter is in the final year of his rookie contract and hasn’t improved like the Cowboys hoped he would when he was selected in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
According to a rumor that surfaced on Friday, the Cleveland Browns are willing to trade Colt McCoy for a sixth-round pick. If that’s truly the case, the Cowboys should jump on that deal very quickly.
As mentioned, Romo is the starter in Dallas and that will remain the case for the foreseeable future as Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones recently said his team’s quarterback will receive a contract extension before his current deal expires in 2014.
Dallas signed Orton, 29, to a three-year deal in March, but he’s made it clear he has no plans to remain a backup for the remainder of his career. Plus, he’s not Romo’s successor and the future of the Cowboys and the organization knows that.
What’s still up in the air is the status of McGee, who has severely struggled in the Cowboys’ mini-camp over the past two weeks. Coaches, scouts and analysts alike all say he still makes decisions too slowly, “like a rookie,” which is what they said when he was truly a first-year player back in 2009. He was considered a project then, but now it seems Dallas is ready to move on and look elsewhere for Romo’s potential successor.
That’s not to say McCoy is definitely that player, but if McGee definitely isn’t that player, then why not throw the Browns a sixth-round pick and see if McCoy can improve while learning behind two veterans in Romo and Orton?
Let’s be honest; McCoy didn’t have a chance in Cleveland. First of all, that team is awful and got worse when Rob Ryan left and came to Dallas. Second, team president Mike Holmgren has made it clear he’s not happy with McCoy as his starting quarterback and acted on that displeasure by drafting Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Considering Holmgren only used a third-round pick on McCoy back in 2010, it’s safe to say he’s done with the former Texas Longhorns star.
If the Cowboys might reach out to the Browns about a possible trade for McCoy, Dallas might even be able to include McGee in the deal and come out ahead in the transaction. After all, a Longhorn is a much better option than a Texas A&M product like McGee, but that’s a different rant.
What do the Cowboys have to lose? McGee will be gone at the end of the season via free agency anyway, so why not see give McCoy a year or two to see if he can develop into a possible successor for Romo? It may not happen, but nobody expected Romo to develop into a perennial 4,000-yard passer, so it’s definitely worth a shot.