Gil LeBreton

In Jones’ search for Cowboys’ backup QB, Kaepernick deserves a look

It’s that time again, even if Owner Jones hasn’t formally popped the cork on it.

It’s Find That Dallas Cowboys Backup Quarterback time.

Tony Romo is gone, but the search must begin anew because, you know, you can never have enough low-expectation, minimal-salary-cap-impact, NFL backup quarterbacks.

Of course, nobody wants the second-string QB to actually play, unless it’s the last Sunday of the season in Philadelphia and Dak Prescott is just sunbathing for the playoffs.

Yet, more angst, newsprint and internet bandwidth are certain to be wasted on the quest for Prescott’s No. 2 than anything else the Cowboys will do between now and Sept. 10, the season opener.

Do they really want jockey-sized Kellen Moore to be their lifeline in the event of the unthinkable, a Prescott injury?

Or will they boldly ink a true insurance quarterback, somebody like . . . well, Colin Kaepernick?

He remains a free agent, you know, amidst suspicions of a league-wide blackball, along with scouting whispers that he just doesn’t want to play football anymore.

But why would Kaepernick not want to play football anymore? The 49ers were bad, but not so bad as to suck the soul out of a guy who’s still only 29 and has a Super Bowl on his resume.

Ah, must be the politics. The kneeling thing.

Are NFL owners that spineless, that they don’t want to associate themselves with a player whose conscience and politics might alienate some ticket buyers?

I can’t believe Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is. Ever the rogue, Jones has signed free agents with far more baggage than Kaepernick’s boycott of the national anthem.

As we approach Memorial Day weekend, count me as one Army veteran who bears no animosity towards Colin Kaepernick. He has more than walked his talk and helped to open a valuable dialogue.

I still wince at demonstrations that involve the flag or the anthem. I spent two years of my life specifically defending those things.

But people of my generation, the Vietnam generation, burned flags and stormed campus buildings and really did move to Canada. Kaepernick was simply using the platform that he had.

I’m way over it. I’m more interested in why Kaepernick’s talents have regressed than the headlines he caused.

What, Cowboys fans cheered Greg Hardy, Josh Brent, Tank Johnson and Pacman Jones, but they would stay home because of Kaepernick?

By all reports, Kaepernick was a popular, positive influence in the San Francisco locker room.

It’s hard for me to imagine he would be more of a distraction here than was having Romo hanging around.

Yet, in an NFL off-season that has seen the likes of Matt Cassel, Chase Daniel, Matt Schaub, Ryan Mallett, Mike Glennon and Brian Hoyer all get contracts, backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned.

As of now, the Cowboys’ backup options are Moore and undrafted rookies Cooper Rush of Central Michigan and Austin Appleby of Florida.

Owner Jones needs an upgrade, and he must know that because he’s seen what inadequate backup quarterbacks have done to his team in recent years. Over the past six seasons, fill-in QB starters have won only one game for the Cowboys.

It’s difficult to believe that there are better quarterback insurance candidates out there. Your call, Mr. Jones.

Gil LeBreton: @gilebreton

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