Unless the Dallas Cowboys make a surprising trade for someone, they’re probably going to end up picking up a veteran off of free agency, with Austin Davis looking like a favorite to land there.
The Cowboys have seen backup Kellen Moore go down for the season with an ankle injury, and are going to be without Tony Romo for about half the season give or take, which makes rookie Dak Prescott their starting quarterback, backed up by Jamiell Showers, an undrafted free agent from 2015. Even before Romo’s back injury, the Cowboys were looking into veterans available on the market, but this becomes a much bigger point of focus for them with 0 experience among their two quarterbacks.
Davis isn’t a bad option, as the 27-year old who played his college ball with Southern Miss has 10 career starts. He started 8 times for the Los Angeles Rams (then St. Louis) in 2014 as they had to endure another season without Sam Bradford. Davis went 3-5 as a starter, completing 63.4% of his throws, with 12 touchdown passes and 9 interceptions. He posted a 85.1 passer rating and 44.34 QBR according to ESPN. He didn’t make much of an impression when playing for the Cleveland Browns last season, starting twice.
Davis is more of a number 2 option for a lot of teams, and probably will be for the Cowboys. It might even be a little bit tempting to start him until Romo returns, but they can’t afford to. While Prescott might be rough around the edges as all rookies are, he seems like the Cowboys best shot at winning games until Romo returns, and this season isn’t about some rebuild for Dallas, who already missed a year last season with Romo available for just 4 games.
The fear when it comes to Prescott is throwing him in too soon. A lot of promising rookies get burnt by starting out too early instead of learning and developing from behind the scenes. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, they don’t have the luxury of giving him sans-pressure time off the field in his rookie year, with Davis, if he’s signed, being nothing more than a backup.