DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys may need to draft a quarterback.
Not at starter; Dak Prescott is their man after signing a four-year contract worth $160 million in March. However, the gap between No. 1 and No. 2 on the Cowboys' depth chart at quarterback is wider than Prescott's grin when he signed that multi-million dollar extension.
The Cowboys currently have Cooper Rush, Garrett Gilbert, and Ben DiNucci rostered as backups to the two-time Pro Bowler. Don’t expect the club to be content to go into training camp with that as their backup QB situation if the opportunity presents itself to upgrade in the NFL draft this weekend.
"I think player acquisition is 365 days a year," Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said. "If we see a situation that makes sense for us from a salary cap standpoint and upgrading what we have on the roster and can create a more competitive situation, then we’ll certainly look at that. I think that, like any position on our team, is a work in progress."
The Cowboys drafted DiNucci with a seventh-round pick last year with the intention to develop him, despite Prescott being the franchise man under center. Going back to McCarthy's time with the Green Bay Packers, the NFC North club drafted five quarterbacks to groom as fill-ins behind NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.
McCarthy is looking to bring the same philosophy to Dallas.
"You’re always looking to upgrade that position, whether it’s via the draft or free agency," McCarthy said. "I will say we definitely want to add some competition to the room.”
If the Cowboys are looking to add competition with their day three picks, here are some names to consider:
1. Jamie Newman, Georgia — The former Wake Forest product opted out of the 2020 season; therefore, all of his college work was with the Demon Deacons and not in the SEC East. Nevertheless, his 2019 campaign with 220 completions on 361 attempts for 2,868 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions shows he has some talent under center. At 6-4, 230 pounds, he has some heft at the position to be able to take hits in the pocket.
2. Shane Buechele, SMU — The son of former Texas Rangers standout third baseman Steve Buechele, local favorite Shane posted a 57-16 touchdown to interception ratio in his two seasons with the Mustangs. Buechele is used to being an underdog and working his way up. As a backup on the roster, there would be no pressure for him to overtake Prescott — just the guys around him.
3. Sam Ehlinger, Texas — Another local favorite, the Cowboys would have another athletic youngster to groom behind Prescott. Ehlinger had a productive career with the Longhorns with 94 touchdown passes and 11,436 passing yards.
He wouldn't have to be the Cowboys' answer at quarterback and could take his time learning from McCarthy and the quarterback school in place.
4. Feleipe Franks, Arkansas — Bringing in a quarterback from the Jones' alma mater brings up memories of Clint Stoerner, but Franks played just one season in Fayetteville. The 6-6, 228-pound signal caller played most of his college ball with the Florida Gators, giving him a comprehensive feel for the Southeastern Conference. In nine games of SEC play, he threw 17 touchdowns and four picks in 2020.
Which late-round QB are you most interested in seeing become a member of the Cowboys? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.