You don't have to tell the Dallas Cowboys they need better play at the backup quarterback position. They found out firsthand just how inept the unit mostly was behind Dak Prescott, when the two-time Pro Bowler was lost for the season after suffering a compound ankle fracture in Week 5. The offense was effectively shell-shocked from that point forward, until waking up a bit in December only to fall comatose when it mattered most in the season finale with Andy Dalton under center. In an attempt to figure out who deserves the nod as backup in 2021, they'll now host a third workout ahead of OTAs when they welcome Brett Hundley to North Texas, sources tell CBS Sports.
Hundley arrives on the heels of workouts by J.T. Barrett and Brady Davis during rookie minicamp over the weekend, the latter two both leaving absent a deal. There's definite familiarity with Hundley, from the perspective of head coach Mike McCarthy, considering the two spent time together with the Green Bay Packers.
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Does that mean Hundley will have an added edge over Barrett and Davis? Obviously, but not as much as one might think. The Cowboys are also developing Cooper Rush, Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert at the moment, with DiNucci being a 2020 draft pick and Gilbert having narrowly shocked the world in his lone start last season -- pushing the then undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers to the brink of upset in a 24-19 loss. Despite Gilbert's impressive outing, the financial aspect helped fuel the Cowboys' decision to return the reins to Dalton once he returned from injury, and the rest is forgetful history.
And with Dalton now in Chicago, the Cowboys are wide open in their search to add more competition at backup QB.
"It's part of the evaluation," McCarthy said of the Barrett and Davis workouts. "They were in there last week and had an excellent workout. Have had a chance to watch him through college down there in New Orleans and Brady has a unique story. I thought he clearly took a jump from today's work."
The workouts weren't actually excellent, though. There were some arid throws that could be blamed on default inaccuracy, the wind or both -- McCarthy clearly leaning more on the elements being the reason.
"It didn't help we were outside in the wind and all that," he said. "We got a storm there at the last minute there. Gives you a chance to look at two young prospects."
Weather isn't expected to be much better this week in Dallas, with storms predicted for the next several days, and then there's the added truth that not all NFL games are played inside; which is to say quarterbacks will eventually have to be accurate when the wind blows as well.
"Wind is part of the game," McCarthy added.
Indeed, so, yea.
Hundley, 27, joined McCarthy's Packers as the team's fifth-round pick in 2015 before going on to a short stint with the Seattle Seahawks and eventually a stretch with the Arizona Cardinals. He's looking to go from backing up Aaron Rodgers to Kyler Murray and now Prescott, carrying a career record in the NFL of just 3-6 with nine touchdowns to 13 interceptions and a career passer rating of 67.6. Those aren't promising numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but if he impresses a familiar McCarthy in his Dallas workout, he might get a shot at battling the incumbent three backups for a shot at standing behind Prescott on the sidelines this season.