Luke McCown was the most recent free-agent quarterback to find a job, signing with the Cowboys on Friday to provide depth after backup Zac Dysert suffered a back injury. The addition of the 36-year-old McCown, who has never started more than four games in a season since coming into the league in 2004, means Colin Kaepernick remains on the lookout for his next NFL opportunity.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones explained why he preferred McCown to Kaepernick.
"We really have our guys set in a way that Luke fit what we wanted from our third quarterback," Jones said, via ESPN.com. "... Dak [Prescott] is obviously No. 1. [Kellen] Moore obviously is No. 2, and so we're looking for more somebody that we can evaluate and train and possibly be a quarterback of the future."
That makes sense; Kaepernick is 29, has 58 career starts, and doesn't fit the mold of scout team quarterback looking to grow into a more permanent role in the future.
"The real thing is that we're looking at what fits our team talentwise," Jones continued. "We like Luke very much, and so, I know where you're going, and the issue here is our depth and building around what fits our offense. We really like Moore as the backup. We don't want to think too much about not having Dak."
This meshes with what 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said earlier this offseason when explaining why Kaepernick wasn't a good fit in San Francisco.
"Usually a really good football player is a good football player in every scheme," Shanahan said in April. "I think you can get a little more into specifics when it comes to maybe the quarterback. ... If you bring in a quarterback who is the best when he's a dual threat and can do all those type of things, that affects an entire offense. That doesn't just affect one guy. That's a huge commitment to your entire team. So, when you bring in someone like that when you're going to have to tinker the offense to fit one player, you've got to know you're tinkering every single person on that offense, too. So, when it comes to the quarterback and some o-linemen, you look into that a little bit more."
Meanwhile, Jones doesn't think Kaepernick's current unemployment status has anything to do with the quarterback's protests during the 2016 season.
"Well, I know this: I feel that every team in the National Football League makes every decision on players to win the ballgame," Jones said. "And so, if someone's not on a team, I would say that for whatever the reason, the decision-makers on all 32 teams are trying to pick them to win, and so, I accept that. And if they're not out there, that's why they're not out there."