Will QB Dustin Vaughan Eventually Start for the Dallas Cowboys?

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Jan 18, 2014; Carson, CA, USA; West Texas A&M quarterback Dustin Vaughan (10) of the National team during the first half of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl game at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Stranger questions have been asked and there’s been even stranger answers at times.

Few have much, if any, knowledge of Dallas Cowboys rookie backup quarterback Dustin Vaughan. If the name even rings a bell, you might be thinking “camp arm” and that’s about it.

On the other hand, if you know a lot about Vaughan then there’s a good chance you either live in the northern Texas panhandle and/or might attend West Texas A&M as a student in Canyon, Texas.

Either way, Vaughan is now a Cowboy and it’s looking more and more like he might very well be hanging out in Dallas this year and possibly into the future. The ongoing stalemate between backup quarterback Kyle Orton and the Dallas franchise, although doubtful, might be setting up the need for a couple of quarterbacks behind starter Tony Romo.

Brandon Weeden, a third-year veteran out of Oklahoma State, was acquired earlier this offseason with the idea that he might have to take over Orton’s role as Romo’s understudy, a task seemingly reasonable given Weeden’s recent starting experience with the Cleveland Browns.

Can Weeden win a football game?

I have no clue, but who was it that lost Dallas’ last game played?

It doesn’t really matter what Weeden or Orton are right now or in the future—main reason being is the simple fact that neither are a part of the long-term future.

Vaughan, on the other hand, might be.

Like Romo, Vaughan performed to outstanding levels at the NCAA Division II level in college and somehow made it through an NFL draft without being selected. Vaughan shattered all major passing records while with the Buffaloes and was a post-draft priority for the Cowboys.

In eerily similar fashion, Romo arrived under similar circumstances in 2003. At that time, Dallas was apparently committed to a franchise quarterback in Quincy Carter, yet the franchise was eagerly allowing baseball-reject Chad Hutchinson ever opportunity to win the starting job, which he obviously didn’t. Anyway, Romo was a complete afterthought.

Well, Vaughan is in a similar situation, albeit with an intriguing skill set that, if given time, could allow him to blossom into a future replacement for Romo. If Vaughan were to take the reigns of the Dallas offense at the same point during his career that Romo did in his, the 6’5” pocket passer would be on pace to line up under center in 2017.

The time frame sounds about right, if Vaughan can show he belongs in the NFL over the precious few moments he’s got coming during training camp starting later this month. Perhaps the Cowboys have already decided to keep Vaughan around for at least a couple of seasons to see how things pan out.

Yes, Vaughan may end up elsewhere as early as this season—or even this preseason. He could also end up like former Texas A&M quarterback Stephen McGee in that he occupies space for a few seasons but never really does anything.

McGee came along at a time when Romo was several years younger. Dallas’ frequent policy of overpaying veteran quarterbacks not to play also limited McGee’s opportunities to prove himself.

In this particular case, things are quite a bit different.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
Next Cowboys Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Sep 77 Sep3:25San Francisco 49ersBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Dustin Vaughan Tony Romo

  • Jim Ingram

    I watched Dustin play all of his career at WT. He is a winner, he is very smart, and hard nosed. He is low key which is a great plus for a qb because his mind is on the job at hand not being a celebrity! The cowboy`s will be very wise to keep him close at hand!

    • Christian Blood

      I’m leaning towards that, Jim. Not like it’s my decision, but he’s a prospect that looks much better than what you ordinarily get in the undrafted ranks. I long ago gave up on the idea that small school passers aren’t likely to make it in the NFL that often. Today, you can come from pretty much anywhere and win in the NFL.

  • Old Frog

    He’s certainly tall enough but I’m skeptical he can make all the throws necessary in the NFL (particularly under duress or with a wet ball) given his small grip.

    • Christian Blood

      That could very well be an issue Frog, that and his delivery might be a little slow and unorthodox. We’ll see soon enough.

  • Kendall

    (Sigh) Another sports writer who doesn’t understand the difference between the old I-AA and Division II. Romo played Division I football at Eastern Illinois. At the time they were considered Division I-AA which is now the Football Championship Subdivision where schools like Appalachian State occasionally beat schools like Michigan. Heck, Eastern Illinois itself went on the road last year and beat the crap out of San Diego State 40-19 – an Aztecs’ team that eventually finished 8-5 and won a bowl game. This is not the same level of football, and wasn’t when Romo was there. These two programs don’t play anywhere near the same schedule of competition.