Tua Tagovailoa has changed the discourse surrounding his relatively new career with five consecutive victories to lead the Miami Dolphins into a crowded AFC playoff picture. The sophomore southpaw has shown the type of grit and guile that led the long-suffering franchise to put a decent amount of eggs in his still-developing basket. Many have fundamentally changed their opinion on the quarterback, but today on his show, Colin Cowherd revealed that he's standing pat.
The Fox Sports voice believes you can win football games with Tua under center. It's just that there is a lower ceiling than one might like. Traits not dissimilar to two others at the position: Mac Jones and Teddy Bridgewater.
All three quarterbacks are smart, accurate and don't turn the ball over. All three, per Cowherd, play on teams with great defensive coaches. And though winning some games is great, the ultimate goal should always be higher. Except for Jones, who may be the exception thanks to a partnership with Bill Belichick, few would believe either Tua or Teddy have the ability to win a postseason shootout.
Cowherd makes some decent points. Most people not blinding by wins and losses can see that all three of these signal-callers have limitations. At the same time, though, NFL history is littered with examples of mediocre quarterbacks who have advanced deep into the postseason. Jimmy Garoppolo started and nearly won a Super Bowl two years ago. Jared Goff the year before that.
Trent Dilfer, the shell of Peyton Manning, and Jeff Hostetler have won the ultimate prize. It's not impossible for teams to overcome this style of play at quarterback, though it certainly makes it more difficult.
As it pertains specifically to Tagovailoa, there's an argument to be made that we're just beginning to see what type of player he can be. No longer fighting an impossible battle with pressure on every single drop-back, he's showcasing what he can do with time and confidence. It'd be silly to think this is the end of his progression, or that he couldn't rise to the moment in consecutive playoff weeks.
Then there's the larger conversation about the state of quarterback play league-wide and if a Tua, Teddy, or Mac puts teams in an enviable position, considering how sporadic and disastrous play from the position group can be on any given Sunday. Your mileage will vary on that great debate.