3 quarterback options to compete against Cowboys backups

Quarterback Ben DiNucci #7 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Quarterback Ben DiNucci #7 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Matt Barkley #5 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

2. player. 123. . . . Matt Barkley

Free-agent quarterback and former Buffalo Bills backup quarterback Matt Barkley certainly has had an up-and-down football career. If you are not familiar with him, he was supposed to be the next great NFL quarterback but opted to return to school and his stock dropped beyond control.

The former USC Trojan could have had a different NFL story but he is now a cautionary tale. The Buffalo Bills had Super Bowl hopes last season and if anything were to have happened to star quarterback Josh Allen, Barkley would have gotten the call to continue the quest.

Barkley reminds me a lot of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton has a stronger arm and more experienced but I can envision a time where Barkley didn’t go back to school. Andy Dalton certainly looks like a comparable career if Barkley had gone pro a year early.

Barkley’s arms strength is deceptive as he had a few downfield throws in 2020 that opened my eyes. He does throw the occasional wobbler but he is accurate once he has settled into the game. Barkley does have seven career starts to his credit which is two less than last week’s tryout quarterback Jeff Driskel.

Driskel signed a one-year deal worth up to $2.5 million last week with the Houston Texans. The thinking that Driskel was more experienced than Barkley is false. Driskel has 345 career attempts or 18 fewer pass attempts than Barkley in two fewer starts.

Both players have played for three teams and both have a 58% completion percentage with Driskel having a .2 advantage over Barkley.

Barkley does have 22 career interceptions which does hang over him in a negative way. Throwing an interception on 6.1% of your passes certainly isn’t going to help his case. For comparison, Driskel’s interception rate is 2.3%. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott currently sits at 1.7% for those who were curious.

Barkley does have one thing going for him that would make him popular in Dallas. Barkley has an interesting story and was a high-profile player. Although the Dallas Cowboys have stayed away from that lately, making money and headlines is something we can always expect from the Dallas Cowboys specifically owner and general manager Jerry Jones.

Barkley in Dallas would certainly give his free-agent credentials a boost if he came here on a one-year deal like others before him. That alone should be enough for his agent to be calling the Cowboys for a tryout.