Jerry Jones is one of the most famous owners in sports.
A key Dallas Cowboys insider thinks the team could use the reigning NFL Player of the Year to replace Red Rifle.
After losing veteran quarterback Andy Dalton to the Chicago Bears in free agency, Mike Fisher of CowboysSI.com suggested that Dallas might add former Washington QB Alex Smith as the 2 behind $160 million franchise cornerback Dak Prescott.
Alex Smith … knows the system because he knows all the systems, Fisher said Wednesday. He played with [Cowboys head coach] Mike McCarthy when he was a rookie in San Francisco and even admired Dak Prescott. I think Alex Smith is great if you can find him at an affordable price.
Fisher says the Cowboys would be better off acquiring Smith than settling for lucrative offers like Colt McCoy, Nick Mullens and even the club’s current in-house options: Ben DiNucci, Garrett Gilbert and Cooper Rush.
If you want to be really good, you have to realize that the 12th backup quarterback is not going to be good. Starter in the NFL. And with all due respect to all the other names, when it comes to leading the Cowboys to victory, if Dak Prescott is ever out of the picture, Alex Smith is the man.
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Smith, a former San Francisco and Kansas City Chiefs 49er, arrived in Washington in 2018 with a career-threatening leg injury that resulted in life-threatening necrotizing fasciitis. Doctors were able to save his leg after 17 surgeries over a period of 9 months.
Smith missed the entire 2019 campaign as he went through a grueling recovery process. After finally getting healthy, he returned to the field in October, replacing injured QB Kyle Allen. Smith played in eight games (six starts), he completed 168 of 252 passes for 1,582 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions, and led the club to an incredible NFC East title.
It’s a Hollywood-like story that has affected Prescott, who himself suffered a devastating lower-body injury, a compound fracture and a sprained right ankle in Week 5 of last season. So while putting pen to paper, the $40 million-a-year setter printed out his record-breaking contract and thanked Smith for accomplishing a journey few can dream of.
Even if I’m sitting there holding my leg or whatever on the field trying to get it back in the right position, or if I’m in the hospital later and I wake up from surgery, that’s what God threw at me, Prescott told reporters on the 10th. March on Pro Football Talk. If you knew my life, if you knew my story, whatever the circumstances, I would accept it with a smile and be thankful that God put me in this position to overcome it, to be an example to others. Never in a million years [would he have thought his career was over].
And I have to, quite frankly, thank Alex Smith. Because the moment you sit there and suffer that trauma or come out of the operating room to see someone who has done this before and under worse circumstances, my mind drew an immediate conclusion: Hey, I can do this. I’ll survive. It’s only a matter of time. What do the doctors say? But I’ll be fine. So I have to thank Alex for overcoming that and becoming the homecoming player of the year, and I congratulate him.
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A modest proposal?
Smith, a three-time Pro Bowler who ranks ninth among active QBs with 35,650 career yards, is undoubtedly the best candidate in a market that has seen Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick (Washington), Mitchell Trubisky (Buffalo) and even Joe Flacco (Jets) find new homes. There’s also no doubt that Smith will be a huge improvement over Gilbert’s supposed QB2.
But the odds of Dallas writing a $10-12 million check for the 37-year-old Smith (in May) are pretty slim. In fact, it’s more a matter of setting up the later rounds of next month’s draft to get Prescott’s future holder. Otherwise, Gilbert remains the default choice.
If I had to choose between those two options, I think it’s more likely they chose the draft, David Helman wrote recently on the Cowboys’ official website. For starters, most of the proven quarterbacks have already signed elsewhere – and on top of that, the Cowboys don’t have much money to spend at such an expensive position. They also have six draft picks on day three, so it would be very easy to throw one to a developing quarterback. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if they pick the guys who are already there. Garrett Gilbert impressed in his only start last season, and Ben DiNucci is another young man entering his first season.
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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL
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