The Dallas Cowboys may have to tap the shallow free-agent pond or the slim trade market for a new backup quarterback to starter Tony Romo. Kellen Moore was sidelined with a broken fibula during training camp practice Tuesday leaving team president Jerry Jones with fewer options than anticipated and with the season opener five weeks away.
ESPN’s Ed Werder reports the Cowboys may have already identified former Rams and Eagles quarterback Nick Foles as an option, but they are also considering trades. The report indicates that Dallas could pursue the Cleveland Browns' Josh McCown or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Mike Glennon, who are respectively stuck behind Robert Griffin III and Jameis Winston.
Foles, 27, requested a release from the Los Angeles Rams on July 27. The former Philadelphia Eagles starter was expected to be the backup to No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff in 2016.
The Cowboys are expected to place special importance on a reserve quarterback after injuries in 2015. Romo missed 12 games last season due to a broken collarbone and underwent offseason back surgery, effectively ending the Cowboys' playoff hopes. Dallas received mixed results from veteran Matt Cassel, who won just one game as a starter.
While a signing or trade isn’t imminent according to the Dallas Morning-News the Cowboys want to “move quickly” so as not to disrupt Romo’s preparations for the new season and to allow the new backup time to assimilate.
The Morning-News also stated that rookie Dak Prescott has quickly moved up the depth chart, with only Jameill Showers behind him, but neither has taken a single snap in the NFL.
Jones is more than likely seeking a veteran presence. Foles, McCown, or Glennon may be the best and most reasonable options for the Cowboys.
Presently, Foles, along with Jimmy Clausen, Kellen Clemens, Bruce Gradkowski, Charlie Whitehurst, and Josh Freeman, are all free agents but only Foles has a winning record as a starter or a career completion percentage of 60 percent of better, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.
Freeman, who’s bounced around the league for some time, has fired off more touchdowns and is a stronger scrambler, but the Cowboys' offense requires a deft passer who can manipulate defenses with his arm rather than his legs.
McCown, 37, is coming off his best season as a pro, throwing for 12 touchdowns and 2,109 yards over eight games with Cleveland last season. The Browns may be reluctant to deal their backup given Griffin's injury history.