Luke McCown is interested in extending his football career. Not simply serving as a training camp arm for the Dallas Cowboys.
“Golly, what an awful way to think of yourself as just a camp arm,” McCown said after going through his first practice with the team Saturday.
“I have two legs too, you know? … I’m coming in with competition on my mind. To learn and to establish a rapport with the guys that I’m going to be around with Dak [Prescott], with Kellen [Moore], with Coop [Rush]. As the elder statesman in the room – by a lot – try and help those guys along with the experience I have in various offenses. But, yeah, pick up coach [Scott] Linehan stuff as quick as I can and get out here and perform.”
The veteran quarterback is viewed as a viable No. 3 option for the team. Prescott is the established starter and the organization feels good about Moore serving as the primary backup with his knowledge of Linehan’s offense.
But McCown, the 36-year-old journeyman who has been in the NFL since 2004, is ready to show he can still get it done at the highest level. Coach Jason Garrett said McCown had been staying loose throwing to his 12-year-old son and fully intends him to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster.
“For the most part, your objective is to sign guys that we’d like to keep,” Garrett said. “We want to give him an opportunity to show what he can do. It’s a hard thing for some of these guys who haven’t been with us in the offseason, so they’re catching up. They’ll spend a lot of time with our position coaches in and around meetings, extra time at night trying to get themselves caught up and take advantage of their opportunity.”
McCown, a Jacksonville (Texas) native, is more than happy to be playing for his home-state team. He grew up a Cowboys fan with his first autograph coming from Ring of Honor member Drew Pearson.
“Growing up, all there was was Cowboys football,” McCown said. “You dream of wearing the star and dream of being part of the silver and blue. To have that opportunity is really special.”
McCown spent the past four seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He has played in 62 games in his career, including 10 starts with a 2-8 record, and has thrown more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (9) in his career.
The Cowboys brought in McCown’s brother, Josh, for a free agent visit this offseason, but Josh ended up signing with the New York Jets. Luke is more than happy to fill the void.
“Listen, a lot went into that evaluation and they ultimately went with the younger, better looking one,” Luke said, laughing.