Last night, the Dallas Cowboys began their season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it may have ended the same night. Down a couple of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, Dak Prescott exited the game with a hand injury. After the final whistle last night, Jerry Jones told the media that Prescott was going to need surgery. Today, we found out Prescott would miss 6-8 weeks.
It is very unfortunate news indeed, especially given the losses the Cowboys had already suffered on that side of the ball over the offseason. Dallas' season isn't technically over yet, but they'll have to go .500 at least while Prescott is gone in order to stay in the running for the playoffs-- and then hope their star QB doesn't miss a beat upon his return.
But it is the immediate future that concerns the Cowboys right now. Where could they look to replace Prescott and do whatever they can to ensure this season isn't lost before it even begun?
The obvious choice, Rush has been a backup with the Cowboys for years and knows the system very well. He started a game for Dallas last year after Prescott hurt his calf and played well, throwing for 325 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in a winning effort. Rush will definitely get first crack at the starting gig without Prescott and the team would love for him to work out as a cost-effective, fan-favorite option. However, lifelong backups are often lifelong backups for a reason and anybody hoping the team wouldn't miss a step transitioning to Rush will be disappointed.
Should the Cowboys be more concerned about that last point above than we know, Jimmy G is the clear first option outside the franchise facilities. His reworked contract with the 49ers makes him far cheaper than he was over the summer and San Francisco certainly has no use for him with the Trey Lance train at full speed. It's a logical trade to make for a Cowboys team that cannot afford a lost year, and Garoppolo has it in him to play well enough for that stretch to put Dallas in a good spot for the back half of the year. The issue is if Jerry Jones would be willing to rise to the undoubtedly high price San Francisco would set for Jimmy G.
Yup. Cam Newton is still a free agent and his brand of showmanship would be embraced with open arms by the Dallas faithful. But the problems that prevented Newton from signing anywhere over the offseason persist-- his arm is bad and the rest of his skillset requires creative gameplanning to succeed. He's not going to walk into the building and guarantee the Cowboys four wins, but if Rush struggles and Garoppolo remains too expensive, Newton is a pretty good backup-backup-backup plan.