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The Dallas Cowboys Should Sign This Legendary Mountain West QB Immediately

In the wake of Prescott succumbing to a right thumb injury that will require surgery and keep him out six to eight weeks, the Cowboys’ prospects for the 2022 NFL Season are looking increasingly dim. However, could there be a forgotten, undrafted free agent quarterback on the market that could inspire some hope in Dallas?

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In the wake of Prescott succumbing to a right thumb injury that will require surgery and keep him out six to eight weeks, the Cowboys’ prospects for the 2022 NFL Season are looking increasingly dim. However, could there be a forgotten, undrafted free agent quarterback on the market that could inspire some hope in Dallas?

A Disappointing Start In Dallas

The Dallas Cowboys are in a pickle. Heading into this season, it was clear that Dak Prescott was going to have to put this team on his back and carry them if they were to find any success and challenge for supremacy in the NFC East.

The team lost several key offensive weapons during the offseason, including receiver Amari Cooper. Mike McCarthy is far from an inspiring leader and is believed by many to already have a hot seat. Dak Prescott was supposed to be the team’s saving grace. Now what?

Career backup Cooper Rush is the next man up. He has attempted just 63 regular-season NFL passes thus far in his five-year NFL career, completing 60% of them for three touchdowns and one interception. Not exactly Nate Peterman-level bad, but far from inspiring.

Behind Rush is Will Grier, whose only regular-season NFL action came during his rookie season in 2019, in which he completed just 53.8% of his passes for zero touchdowns and four interceptions in two brutal starts. Ok, now we are approaching Peterman status.

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Neither of these options are remotely encouraging for the franchise or the fans. Cam Newton’s name has been floated around as a possible band-aid. Cam Newton looked awful last season, going 0-5 as a starter in Carolina, completing just 54.8% of his passes for four touchdown passes and five picks. He can still run, adding five touchdowns on the ground, but at this point in his career, he really doesn’t have enough left in the tank to inspire much more hope than Cooper Rush.

So, is all hope lost? Is it the Cooper Rush/Will Grier show until Prescott can return (and hopefully finish out the season)? Maybe not.

Enter Carson Strong

The Philadelphia Eagles released Carson Strong in August after he was given very few opportunities to earn a roster spot. He threw just four passes during the preseason and saw very few snaps during training camp. This is not necessarily surprising, as Strong was only signed as an undrafted free agent earlier in the summer. Clearly, the Eagles had ultimately already had their quarterback room in place, and Strong never had a real shot at making the squad.

What is surprising, however, is that Carson Strong had been guaranteed a franchise-record contract for an undrafted free agent ($320,000). It was even more surprising that Strong, considered by scouts to have first-round arm talent and with an outstanding college resume, went completely undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Strong put up some legitimately impressive numbers during his college career. Over a three-year period, he led the FBS in completions (852), was second in pass touchdowns (74), and fourth in passing yards (9,368). During his 2021 campaign, he completed 70.1% of his passes for 4,175 yards, 36 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. He was a two-time Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year and a two-time First-Team All-Mountain West selection. He fits the mold of a prototypical pocket passer at 6’4″ and 215 lbs. with a strong arm and solid accuracy.

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The Cowboys have a need at the quarterback position, and there is a young, free agent quarterback with potentially elite arm talent available and ready for service. So, what’s the catch?

The Health Concerns

Clearly, there was a glaring reason why Carson Strong, despite his college success and amazing natural talent, slipped through the entire draft. That reason is his health and durability concerns.

Stong injured his knee in high school, requiring surgery to reattach cartilage. This was a unique procedure that utilized eight biodegradable nails to attach the cartilage. The procedure caused him to miss his senior year of competition at the high-school level. In college, he would require further surgery on his knee. He would go on to wear a knee brace throughout his college career. The uncertainty around the health of his knee prevented him from showing any mobility as a quarterback and was enough of a concern for NFL teams to completely remove him from their draft boards.

The Fit In Dallas

For teams searching for their next franchise quarterback in the draft, Carson Strong just wasn’t worth the risk. However, the Dallas Cowboys are not searching for their next franchise quarterback. They only require an upgrade at the backup quarterback position.

Carson Strong could be a massive low-risk, high-reward option for the Dallas Cowboys. He would instantly have the strongest arm in the team’s current quarterback room, and he matches his arm strength with solid accuracy as well. He could make all the throws we have come to expect from Dak Prescott. He comes from an Air Raid offense in Nevada in which he proved that he can make any NFL-level throw and has a strong awareness of defensive schemes.

Prescott is considerably more mobile than Strong, but his game and the Cowboys’ play-calling are little more predicated around quarterback runs than Strong is accustomed to so it would not be a huge adjustment for player or team in that respect.

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Yes, his long-term durability is a concern and has been a sticking point that has prevented him from hanging on to an NFL roster up to this point. However, the Cowboys aren’t looking for a long-term answer. Dak Prescott is their franchise quarterback. Carson Strong could be an instant upgrade as a backup for the squad, benefiting the team, and would give him much-needed exposure at the professional level, benefiting the player.

What is the downside here? Worst case scenario, he is a low-risk, cheap gamble that may not work out, and he will be back on the free agent market in no time. Best case scenario, he proves he is as talented as pro scouts had once thought and wins some games for the Cowboys to keep them afloat until Prescott returns.

What do you think? Could Carson Strong help the Cowboys?

Written By

Raptors fan since '95, Eagles fan since I can remember. Anthropologist turned logistics professional turned hopeful sports writer. Dog dad of three. Excited to share my passion for sports!

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