3 free agents the Dallas Cowboys should still pursue
By Connor Green
3. Alex Smith, QB
Before the start of last season, the Dallas Cowboys went out and signed veteran quarterback Andy Dalton to be their backup. At least that was the plan before the teams’ starting quarterback Dak Prescott went down with a gruesome, season-ending ankle injury week five against the New York Giants.
Dalton helped lead the team to an improbable comeback against the Giants and led Dallas, which was riddled with injuries, to a 4-5 record in his starts. Fans of America’s Team experienced first-hand the importance of the position of backup signal-caller last season.
Currently, that role is projected to go to quarterback Garrett Gilbert. The 29-year old made his first career start with the Cowboys last year and nearly managed to pull off an upset of the then-undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, endearing himself to many fans of America’s Team in the process.
However, heading into that start the veteran backup had only thrown six passes in his NFL career and currently has a career completion percentage of 52.3 percent, not exactly a confidence-inspiring stat. Regardless of how one feels about Gilbert the Cowboys should at least give him some legitimate competition for the vital role of backup quarterback given his lack of experience.
Keeping that in mind, the first remaining free agent that Dallas should sign is another veteran quarterback, Alex Smith. The 36-year old passer was awarded the 2020 AP Comeback Player of the Year after fighting back from a potentially life-threatening leg injury in 2018.
The three-time Pro Bowler played an integral part in helping the Washington Football Team get to the playoffs last year and he led the team to an impressive 5-1 record in his starts. The veteran signal-caller has 199 passing touchdowns and 35,560 passing yards in his career playing for the San Francisco 49ers, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Washington Football Team.
Speculation that the organization might bring in Smith has been bubbling ever since the teams’ starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who is currently undergoing his own extensive recovery process, praised him as an “inspiration” and a “role model.”
The fact of the matter is that Alex Smith would provide a veteran presence to the locker room while delivering competition for the key position of backup quarterback. Outside of being a great story, from all indications, Smith is an excellent teammate who could provide the Cowboys with a little bit of insurance at the most important position in sports.