Dallas Cowboys: Is Cam Newton the best quarterback to target?

Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

With the New England Patriots saying goodbye to Cam Newton, the Dallas Cowboys could potentially be front-runners for his services.

The Dallas Cowboys were very active on Tuesday making cuts to their roster, and the team had to get down its roster to 53 by the deadline at 4:00 p.m. ET.

One of the biggest surprises from the cuts involved quarterbacks Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci.

Both quarterbacks were fighting for playing time last season after star quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Gilbert played in one game last season where he completed 21 of 38 passes for 243 yards, one touchdown and one interception. DiNucci also started one game where he went 21-of-40 for 180 yards and two fumbles lost.

Even though both quarterbacks didn’t play exceptionally well in their starts last season, Gilbert was probably more likely to make the team this year. With Prescott out all offseason, the former SMU star was receiving all the first-team reps. As a result, many thought Gilbert was a sure lock to make the 53-man roster.

However, Dallas had other plans for the former sixth-round pick.

On the other hand, it was possibly more of a longshot for DiNucci to make the final 53-man roster. The former James Madison product didn’t have the best preseason. In four games, the 24-year-old quarterback had more interceptions than touchdowns (a ratio of 4-to-2), and with Prescott nearing full strength, it became more apparent DiNucci wasn’t going to make the roster.

As a result, that leaves quarterback Cooper Rush as the sole backup to Prescott. Rush was also the second-string quarterback in Dallas from 2017 through 2019, and in 2020, he spent some time with the New York Giants practice squad before being released early in the season.

The move to release both DiNucci and Gilbert could mean that the Dallas Cowboys have no concerns that Prescott is fully healthy and ready to go for the season.

However, there could be more going on behind the scenes, and Dallas could be targeting another quarterback to bring in who suddenly became available on NFL cut day, former New England Patriots signal-caller Cam Newton.

Dallas Cowboys to consider Cam Newton as backup, or perhaps someone else?

As of now, the Dallas Cowboys have two quarterbacks on their active roster, Prescott and Rush. However, Dallas would probably not be content with the undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan if Prescottt went down.

With that in mind, there are plenty of options that the team could target.

For starters, the Cowboys can acquire a backup via trade. One name that has popped up is quarterback Nick Foles. Foles is currently the third-string quarterback for the Chicago Bears. The former Super Bowl MVP hasn’t found much success since leading the Philadelphia Eagles to the “promised land” in 2018.

If the Cowboys don’t want to trade a late sixth- or seventh-round pick for Foles, there are plenty of other backups they could bring in through free agency.

The No. 1 target for Dallas right now is probably Newton, who was just released on Tuesday by the Pats.

The 2015 NFL MVP finds himself without a team with just eight days until the regular season. At this point, Newton is most likely going to start the season as a backup or not even on a roster at all. Nonetheless, the Cowboys have expressed their interest in the former Auburn star, but have also said they have to evaluate every other quarterback as well.

Signing Newton to be the backup would help in plenty of ways. For starters, Dallas would get its No. 2 quarterback. Additionally, the Cowboys could get extremely creative and bring in the former first overall pick for goal-line and short-yardage plays. These would most importantly take away from Prescott but ensure he isn’t putting his body on the line with vicious hits.

Newton just got released, so it might take the Cowboys a couple of weeks to possibly bring in the 32-year-old quarterback and get him up to speed. However, Newton could come at a cheap price and help this offense become more dangerous than it already is.

Aside from Newton, there are also other quarterbacks whom the Dallas Cowboys could target. Players like Jeff Driskel and Blake Bortles are still on the market.

Driskel was cut by the Houston Texans on Tuesday and now finds himself a free agent. Earlier this offseason, Driskel visited with the Cowboys but a deal wasn’t made at that time.

Now, America’s Team could show interest again in the 6-foot-4 quarterback out of Florida. Driskel has spent the past three seasons with three different teams, (Cincinnati Bengals, Detriot Lions and Denver Broncos) where he has had 16 total touchdowns and eight interceptions.

If none of the options above appeal to the Cowboys, they could easily go after Bortles after the Green Bay Packers released him earlier this offseason.

Bortles hasn’t found much success after leading the Jacksonville Jaguars to the AFC Championship. Nevertheless, he could provide tons of experience in the quarterbacks room. Bortles isn’t likely going to be the best No. 2 option on any team, but he could be an interesting signing.

As far as more interesting and intriguing, though? It’s still Newton.

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