Following the release of Troy Aikman, the Cowboys needed a new starting quarterback. In 2001, they had a competition for the job between Tony Banks and second-round rookie Quincy Carter.
At first, Carter looked to be a solid choice, as he was solid in the preseason and took the job away from Banks. In doing so, he became the first quarterback taken in the second round to start in Week 1 as a rookie in NFL history.
He ended up starting just eight games that season, as two injuries slowed him down. First, it was a sprained thumb and then later a hamstring injury sidelined him for six weeks. That allowed Anthony Wright, Ryan Leaf and Clint Stoerner to all get starts — dark times indeed for Cowboys faithful.
2002 brought another challenge for Carter, as he had to battle another former baseball player Chad Hutchinson. After starting his sophomore campaign as the No. 1 quarterback, which began with an embarrassing loss to the expansion Houston Texans, Carter made it through just seven games before being benched for Hutchinson.
Carter won the job back in 2003 after new head coach Bill Parcells came to town and he had the best season of his entire career. While he did throw 21 interceptions and only 17 touchdowns, Carter found a way to start all 16 games and led Dallas to a record of 10-6 and a playoff berth. That improved him to 16-15 in his career with America’s Team.
However, he was cut after the season and some of Carter’s problems started to surface. He battled substance abuse and quickly found himself out of the league. It was a sad ending for an athlete who could hurt teams with his arm and legs.