Will Josh McCown Be The Dallas Cowboys Next Back-Up Quarterback?


At 35-years old and just a couple seasons removed from coaching high school football, quarterback Josh McCown is once again on the open market after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday. Could the Dallas Cowboys be the perfect landing place for the wily veteran?

The Cowboys currently have former first round bust quarterback Brandon Weeden and untested, undrafted free agent rookie quarterback Dustin Vaughn on the depth chart behind starting quarterback Tony Romo. But is there a need for McCown?

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Weeden performed well in relief of Romo back in Week Eight of the 2014 regular season. Against the Washington Redskins, the former Oklahoma State Cowboy threw for 69 yards and a score, completing four of his six passes in a very brief appearance. Romo would end up returning in that game, but was unable to pull out the victory in overtime.

The following week, Weeden would get the start against the Arizona Cardinals as Romo dealt with a back injury. Unfortunately, the back-up fell flat on his face as the Cardinals had the benefit of game-planning for the former Cleveland Brown starter.

Against Arizona, Weeden completed just 18 of his 33 passes for 183 yards, threw two interceptions, and recorded one meaningless, garbage-time touchdown. His poor 54.5% completion percentage was very reminiscent of his infamous days in Cleveland.

This despite Weeden arguably being the most well-prepared back-up in the NFL. Apparently, Romo’s injury concerns and missed practice time every week (Wednesday’s off) allowed Brandon more time with the Cowboys’ first team than any other back-up quarterback in the league.

Here’s a fact most overlook: The 31-year old Weeden signed a two-year deal with Dallas last season as a developmental player, not as a primary back-up. But the unexpected exit of veteran back-up quarterback Kyle Orton last offseason forced the Cowboys’ to push him up the depth chart.

And the fact Dallas didn’t even seem to consider replacing Weeden with the Vaughan at any point last season should tell you everything you need to know about the rookie’s development.

So, is there a need at that the back-up position in Dallas? Clearly. But why would McCown want to play for the Cowboys? He will certainly have other opportunities, as it’s been reported that the veteran quarterback has already been contacted by interested teams.

Well first, let’s not forget that McCown is a native East Texan. He grew up in Jacksonville, which is just shy of two hours away from Dallas.

Secondly, after being the top free agent quarterback from last season and failing to live up to that hype as a starter in Tampa Bay, playing stress-free behind an established quarterback like Tony Romo might just be appealing.

And finally, McCown might prefer the situation in Dallas because Romo himself is likely to miss time in 2015 due to his reoccurring back issues.

This means, despite being a back-up, chances are McCown would get a shot at redemption on a national stage as the quarterback of America’s Team at some point in the season.

In 11 games with the Buccaneers last year, McCown threw for 2,206 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. His completion percentage of 56.3% made him the 51st worst quarterback in the NFL in 2014.

Pro Football Focus gave McCown an overall rating of -18.3. That was bad enough to get him ranked 69th out of the total 75 quarterbacks who played last season.

Prior to signing in Tampa Bay, the former 2002 third round pick out of Sam Houston State had experienced a career resurgence as a member of the Chicago Bears. In eight games in 2013, as the primary back-up to starting quarterback Jay Cutler, McCown threw for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and only one interception for da Bears.

And that included a Week 14 matchup against the Cowboys in Solider Field where McCown lit up Dallas’ defense to the tune of 348 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 27 of his 36 passes in the 45-28 blowout victory.

But McCown’s success in Chicago and subsequent failure in Tampa Bay will raise serious questions about whether the perennial back-up’s resurgence was all due to former Bears head coach Marc Trestman and his quarterback-friendly offensive scheme. If this is true, the soon-to-be 36-year old quarterback may decide the Baltimore Ravens are a better franchise to sign with this offseason as Trestman was recently hired as their new offensive coordinator.

But what do you think? Should the Dallas Cowboys pursue Josh McCown as their new back-up quarterback?

Submit your answer in the poll below and feel free to explain your choice in our comment section.

Next: Could Two Troubled, But Talented Players Fall to Cowboys?

The Landry Hat is committed to giving a fan’s take on all things Dallas Cowboys. And we believe it’s our staff’s unique and varied perspectives that makes us different than any other sports site on the internet. With that being said, getting our readers’ perspective on various Cowboys-related topics is essential for us to be successful.

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