In 2013, the Dallas Cowboys season was de-railed by the loss of then starter Tony Romo. Spirits were high in the organization, as Head Coach Jason Garrett and Owner Jerry Jones were confident in backup QB Kyle Orton. Heading into a week 17 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, a matchup for “all the marbles” as they say, the Cowboys had all their chips riding on Orton.
As most Eagles fans remember, Kyle Orton did not have what it took that night and the Eagles would go on to the playoffs. Fast forward to 2015 and it seemed the Dallas Cowboys hadn’t learned their lesson. In a week 2 matchup against the birds’, then Rookie LB Jordan Hicks, sacked Tony Romo and broke his collar bone in the process. The Cowboys got the win that day, but at the ultimate expense.
The Cowboys would go through a few backups during the rest of the year, going 4-12 in the process. They set out to right the ship in case of emergency during the following offseason by drafting rookie Dak Prescott and the rest was history. The Cowboys may have lost in their first playoff game in 2 seasons, but having a more then competent back-up, led to a 12-4 season and first place of the NFC.
The Eagles have struck gold with QB Carson Wentz, the obvious face of the franchise. Although the Eagles have serious holes at both the WR and CB positions, finding a better then competent back-up in the draft should be of consideration. 14-million dollars of cap space are being dispersed between Wentz and Chase Daniel. 8 Million of it going to the backup. The team are currently without a third string quarterback after parting ways with Aaron Murray. Pederson also made it clear that he wants to bring in a younger guy to one day become the backup to Carson Wentz.
Here are three later round QB’s worth keeping an eye on as they have the potential to become crucial cogs in a well-oiled NFL machine.
Cooper Rush (Central Michigan):
In his career, the 6’3, 230 pounds, Charlotte, MI native, threw for 12,891 yards, 90 touchdowns and 55 interceptions in 50 games. Considered a natural leader by both his coaches and teammates alike, Rush can often be found in the film-room, much like Eagles QB, Carson Wentz. His arm strength leaves a little to be desired, but he makes up for it with excellent accuracy. Cooper is a sneaky athlete, with great feet in the pocket, and the capability to extend plays.
Josh Dobbs (Tennessee):
Early on in his career, Dobbs was considered more of an athlete than a QB. His running ability showed up early and often throughout his career, rushing for 2160 yards and 32 touchdowns during his time at Tennessee. As the years went on, Dobbs has become quite a passer. His accuracy has gotten better every year and his ability to read defenses has become a strength, throwing for 7,138 yards, 53 touchdowns and 29 interceptions in just 37 starts. As Dobbs became more comfortable in his offense, he started using his athletic ability as a way of keeping plays alive to find a receiver down field. Turning into a real prospect worth watching.
Gunner Kiel (Cincinnati):
An early transfer from the university of Notre Dame, Kiel would find his home with the Bearcats. At 6’4, 215 pounds, Kiel looks the part, although his accuracy leaves a little to be desired. Arm strength is not a problem and his leadership has never been in question. In 28 career starts he has 6,835 yards, 56 touchdowns and 26 interceptions, amassing a 145.5 passer rating. It’s easy to imagine Kiel as an NFL QB. Extremely patient in the pocket, with active feet, he has all the tools to be more than just a project prospect.
These three are just a tiny sample of prospects the Eagles could target, as the QB prospects this year run deep in the later rounds. With a long list of things to do this off-season, finding a backup to the franchise should be moved somewhere to the top of said list.
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports