The Dallas Cowboys played their final preseason game on the West Coast last night. The West Coast hasn’t been particularly nice to the Cowboys in the preseason in these last couple of years.
They’ve fallen to 0-3 in such games since 2014. Now, we all know that the final score in the preseason is irrelevant, but something else has been concerning me since Week 8 of the 2014 season and tonight didn’t help my sway my feelings at all. The backup Quarterback spot is the shakiest spot on the roster. The backup Quarterbacks on the roster are Brandon Weeden, Dustin Vaughan and Jameill Showers. I’ll tell you why these 3 guys concern me and then I’ll tell you what needs to be done to fix it.
We all know the travesty that was Brandon Weeden in Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals last season. It was shocking because Weeden practiced with the first team offense every Wednesday and he still wet the bed when he played. Fast forward 9 months and he did the same thing in the Cowboys first pre-season game vs San Diego. Weeden had a nice drive going but he let a snap get away from him and he was seen running the ball down. Weeden literally smacked the ball and it bounced further into Dallas territory. In the 49ers game, Weeden went 2/5 for 7 yards before being hit in the head and pulled out of the game. Weeden would later be diagnosed with a concussion.
I really want to trust my backup Quarterback if Romo ever goes down, but right now, I don’t trust Weeden.
Vaughan’s preseason stats over the last 2 years are: 41/77, 402 yards, 1 Touchdown and 2 Interceptions. Vaughan has played in 6 preseason games in 2 years and I’ve seen very little improvement. The Chargers game last week was the best game of his career by far, but it took him 4 games to get there. We all learned in the Chargers game that Vaughan didn’t touch a football all offseason. He did no offseason work to improve his accuracy or arm strength and it showed in the 49ers game. I understand that Vaughan is working with the 2nd or 3rd team offensive line by the time he comes into the game, but he should have more than 84 yards in a game. Maybe Dustin would look better behind the starting Offensive line, but we won’t see that anytime soon. Hopefully he continues to improve, but his past preseason games shows little promise that he can.
Showers comes in the game during the 4th quarter and for an undrafted guy out of UTEP, he impresses me. In his 2 games, Showers has completed 13 of his 28 pass attempts for 120 yards with 1 Touchdown and 1 Interception. Showers brings something to the game that the other 2 backup Quarterbacks can’t bring, and that’s the ability to scramble. In his first 2 games, Showers has ran with the ball 4 times for 37 yards. For the first time ever, Showers, the Quarterback would be seen playing both Offense and Special Teams. Special Teams coach Rich Bisaccia made Showers the gunner for the punt coverage and on one series, he went down and made the tackle! I feel the final preseason game against the Houston Texans will be the game for Showers to really show us what he has.
HOW DO WE FIX THE BACKUP ISSUE
The backup issue won’t be fixed this year, but it can be fixed next year. The 2016 draft will potentially be loaded with Quarterbacks and I think Jason Garrett will finally draft a Quarterback. In 2016, I could see Brandon Weeden on the outs while another veteran sits behind Romo and a rookie takes Vaughan’s spot as the number 3 Quarterback.
The only way to fix the backup Quarterback issue is to draft a backup that’ll be the heir to Tony Romo’s throne in the future. Below are five quarterbacks the Cowboys could look at in the draft, next year.
1. Jacob Coker, Alabama
2. Davis Webb, Texas Tech
3. J.W. Walsh, Oklahoma State
4. Kevin Hogan, Stanford
5. Cody Kessler, USC