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.