It certainly seems that navigating through the first week of training camp without losing someone important is a very difficult trick for the Cowboys.
In 2013, Tyrone Crawford was knocked out for the year on one of the first days of camp. It happens and it stinks. Heck, Sean Lee was out for the year in 2014 before camp even started. OTA's got him that year. Orlando Scandrick went in 2015 a little later in camp. It happens and it stinks. But, it is also football.
This season, it will be Kellen Moore. He will be lost "several months" with a broken leg yesterday in a freak moment in camp. This is an issue, but it is likely best described as an issue that is piled on top of another issue.
Just 48 hours ago, I wrote this about the Cowboys QB2 situation: Questions abound. And, for some unknown reason, the Cowboys did not flinch and go target a better solution at backup QB for 2016. They may end up being in fine shape for down the road if Dak Prescott can be developed, but if QB1 drops in 2016, they are still seemingly as screwed as could be. I don't think Kellen Moore can win games in the big leagues, and neither does anyone who was locked in last December. Was he better than Matt Cassel or Brandon Weeden? If so, it is too fractional to get excited about. I don't know why they didn't get short-term Romo insurance, but it never came close to happening.
I realize my tune has changed in the last 10 months on Kellen Moore. At first, I was pretty interested in what the college star could do if he was given a chance. But, his chance gave me quite a bit of indigestion, to be honest. And I planned on writing that up this week with videos showing my issues, but that would likely be piling on right now. Bottom line, I was quite uncomfortable with the Cowboys view of Moore and their spot at backup QB. They seemed to ignore his very generous turnover issues of his 3 games last December (6 INTs in about 10 Quarters of action projects to a 38 INT season). Not sure if he couldn't see the safety or if his arm betrayed him, but those 6 INTs in December got me to cool my jets on his prospects in the likely event Tony Romo needed his understudy to run on to the field for 2-6 games this season.
I can't have a backup QB making rookie mistakes, especially if he supposedly knew Scott Linehan's playbook like the back of his hand.
Well, all of that flew right out the window when he was rolled up on in practice yesterday and lost for quite a while. Obviously, I was anxious to see him play in preseason and put those December concerns behind him, but now those plans have been trashed and now the Cowboys are forced to lock themselves in a room and discuss the next plan.
Let's be clear here - I want Dak Prescott to accomplish great things here. But, based on his college tape and even a few practices in Oxnard, I think it is safe to say we are talking a few years - not a few weeks - before he is prepared to play meaningful snaps around here. He has tons of interesting components to his game, but the adjustments to NFL speeds and sizes will be a hurdle for him, and his accuracy will need to be improved. We knew that. That is why he lasted so long in the draft. He was not picked for 2016.
Jameill Showers is the one who may surprise you a bit. I have been told by a few on the inside of the organization that he may be the 2nd best QB on the team entering camp. But, he also is considered the distant #4th by the coaching staff because of his pedigree. Linehan loved Kellen Moore and the personnel people thought Showers was better. Not suggesting this was the basis for a war at Valley Ranch/Frisco, but that feeling absolutely existed on some level. So now, is this the lifeline for Showers? Is this the Quincy getting cut that saved Tony Romo's career? Way too early to say, but he will get some looks for sure. 5 days ago, Jason Garrett made it sound like Showers was not a priority. Perhaps, that is still true, but at least he will get his turn to be debated today.
And now, we all arrive back at the most obvious fit all off-season. Nick Foles is not a world-beater at QB1. But, it sure seems like he would be the type to be a fine backup who might need to play a bit. He has 35 professional starts and is 27 years old. He can run an offense and take care of the football. I would have called for him in March, April, May, June, and July. Jerry Jones disagreed with me, but now in August with Moore out of the picture, it seems like Foles has leverage when the Cowboys call today.
There are a number of other names out there, but I am pretty sure he has the best chance to really fix something better than it was 48 hours ago. There is no doubt in my mind that Nick Foles is a superior QB to Kellen Moore, Brandon Weeden, and Matt Cassel.
There is also no doubt that he can now ask for twice as much as he would have before Moore broke his leg. And the Cowboys can now spend that cap space that they had earmarked for Dwight Freeney. There lack of interest in him was bizarre, but now the money will be helpful to fix QB2.
This is not a disaster. This was an issue and this forces the Cowboys to fix it. Obviously, we wish Moore the best, but I think the Cowboys needed to put more into QB2, and now, hopefully they will.
Let's see what they do.