Jason Garrett’s coaching philosophy has allowed the Dallas Cowboys to become a more complete team and it’s this philosophy that has a lot of people looking forward to what the Cowboys can accomplish in the 2015 football season.
As Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Garrett has tried to create healthy competition at each position throughout the entire roster from top to bottom. His belief is that healthy competition brings out the best in the players and allows the Cowboys to play the best player at their
Since becoming the head coach of the Cowboys Garrett has been able to put together one the best and youngest offensive lines in the NFL. He has continually focused on trying to replace ageing athletes who are declining in their play and finding younger replacements to replace them in the lineup.
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Garrett’s imprint on the Cowboys roster is evident when you look at the young players he has brought in to create competition at different positions, and even going as far as looking ahead to finding replacements for players that might be declining.
Over the last two seasons Garrett has brought in Gavin Escobar to learn under, and maybe one day replace, their All-Pro tight end Jason Witten because they thought Witten’s play might start declining. They have moved on from veteran and fan favorite DeMarcus Ware and have added a couple young defensive ends in Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence. Garrett has tried
to create this kind of turnover and competition throughout the roster.
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One position that could use some competition and possible upgrade is the backup quarterback position.
Brandon Weeden was brought in to be the backup quarterback to Tony Romo in 2014, but hasn’t seemed to work out the way the Cowboys would have liked.
The Cowboys liked Weeden’s potential coming out of Oklahoma State in 2012 before he was a first-round pick by the Cleveland Browns. The numerous coaching changes with the Cleveland Browns limited Weeden’s time as quarterback in the last few seasons, and upon his release the Cowboys brought to see if they could help him reach his potential and be the backup quarterback behind Tony Romo.
Weeden’s progress or lack thereof has the Cowboys organization all but ready to move on. This was made evident by the fact that the Cowboys worked out several quarterbacks prior to the 2015 NFL draft.
Weeden had his chance to show the Cowboys organization that he is worthy of backing up Romo last season when he started against the Arizona Cardinals when Romo missed a game due to a back injury. His performance in that game could possibly be the reason that the Cowboys are ready to end the Weeden experiment.
Where next after Weeden?
The only other quarterback on the Cowboys roster is Dustin Vaughan an undrafted free agent out of West Texas A&M last year.
Vaughan looked pretty good in the preseason last year and the Cowboys thought enough of him to keep him on the active roster throughout the season. But the question is if they would feel comfortable with him as the backup to Romo if they decided to move on from Weeden?
Another possibility would be to look at veteran free agent quarterbacks to bring in and solidify that backup quarterback position. They did bring in a few veteran quarterbacks, most notable being Matt Schaub, during the off-season to try out and determine whether or not they would be a good addition, but at this point nothing has happened.
One such veteran quarterback that is currently available and could possibly be on the Cowboys radar is Michael Vick.
His skill set is similar to that of Romo’s in that he has the physical ability to scramble when needed and still has the arm strength available to complete all of the necessary throws in the NFL.
The only question is whether or not he would be willing to accept the backup position behind Romo and remain prepared with limited practice snaps?
The backup quarterback has to be able to be ready at a moments notice and execute the game plan. They have to prepare as if they are the starter while only receiving scout team snaps during the season. This was an area of concern during his time with the New York Jets.
“Maybe I didn’t prepare or I wasn’t prepared, but I’ll tell you what, it will happen again,” Vick said when given the chance at the Jets.
If Romo was to miss time due to injury, Vick would have to learn from his past mistakes. Can the Cowboys take Vick at his word?
“I learned a lesson last week: always stay ready, always be prepared. That left a bitter taste in my mouth that I wasn’t able to go out and put points on the board or even help this team in any fashion. So this week has been a different work week from me and throughout the rest of the year, it’s going to be totally different for me as far as my preparation,” Vick said.
Maybe the Cowboys can rely on Vick to come in and remain prepared, maybe he has actually learned from his past mistakes.
If the Cowboys are indeed interested in bringing in Vick as a backup quarterback he would be hard-pressed to find a better situation. Unless he still has delusions of becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL the backup cornerback situation with the Cowboys should be on the top of his list of teams to play for.
The Cowboys have been able to create a very quarterback friendly offensive scheme and have arguably the best and youngest offensive line in the NFL.
This all of course is just speculation, but the Cowboys should be aware that Brandon Weeden isn’t the answer at backup quarterback and they can’t be real comfortable with the thoughts of Dustin Vaughan taking over if anything should happen to Romo.
Can Michael Vick come in and ease the minds of the Cowboys organization and solidify that backup quarterback position?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question and we’ll have to wait and see how the
off-season shakes out.