Dallas Cowboys

Same time last year: Cowboys seeking inexpensive backup QB

The Browns released native Texan Josh McCown earlier this month, making him a free agent.
The Browns released native Texan Josh McCown earlier this month, making him a free agent. AP

The Cowboys are exactly where they were last offseason – looking for an inexpensive backup quarterback.

Veteran Josh McCown, whom the Browns released earlier this month, is in the conversation, according to sources. He was last year, too, when the Cowboys at least discussed trading for McCown in August.

The Cowboys also had Colt McCoy and Chase Daniel and Nick Foles on their radar at one point or another last year.

The Cowboys, though, didn’t want to pay what the market bore for a backup. So they drafted Dak Prescott in the fourth round, and after losing Tony Romo and Kellen Moore to injuries, they decided to give the rookie at shot at the starting job.

The Cowboys again could use the middle rounds of the draft to address their backup quarterback need, according to sources. They are not expected to re-sign Mark Sanchez, who served as a mentor for Prescott last season but completed only 9-of-17 passes for 85 yards with two interceptions and a 27.5 passer rating in his only extended playing time, which came in the regular-season finale against the Eagles.

The Cowboys talked to the agents for McCoy and Daniel last offseason, but McCoy re-signed with the Redskins for three years and $9 million, including $1.8 million guaranteed, and Daniel got a three-year, $21 million deal with the Eagles with $12 million guaranteed.

Moore has one year left on his deal with the Cowboys, which will pay him $760,000.

Before they can find another backup behind Prescott, the Cowboys will have to part ways with Romo. They are expected to release Romo, though owner Jerry Jones said Saturday that he has yet to meet with Romo.

If the Cowboys choose to designate Romo as a post-June 1 release on March 9, they would pick up $14 million in cap space for the 2017 season. He would count $10.7 million against their cap this season and $8.9 million next season. However, they have to carry the full $24.7 million on their books until June 2.

If the Cowboys choose not to take the entire cap hit this year, they would pick up $5.1 million in space immediately. Romo would count $19.6 million in dead money for this year but be off the books for next season.


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