The Dallas Cowboys are going to have to have a discussion about their backup quarterback.
According to Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram, the Cowboys will be having a discussion about Kellen Moore’s status after he struggled for the second consecutive preseason game, completing 10 of 21 passes and fumbling.
Though Dak Prescott is firmly entrenched as the team’s starter, Moore’s lack of experience and inability to impress is proving to be a worry for Dallas’s braintrust.
It’s unclear what Dallas would do if they did indeed decide to replace Moore as Prescott’s backup. While rookie Cooper Rush has been impressive, it is unlikely the Cowboys would give him the nod. Don’t expect to see this veteran free agent quarterback as a candidate either.
- Kellen Moore
The Denver Broncos took a big step toward determining who their Week 1 starting quarterback will be with the way the two contenders for the job performed on Saturday, but the team has yet to make the announcement official — not even within the confines of the locker room.
After Denver’s preseason win over the San Francisco 49ers, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said he has “no idea” who the starting quarterback will be. He also indicated he is getting a little impatient with the situation.
“I am sure they have some name in in mind. I have no idea what they will do,” he said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “We will find out when we go back to work. It will be good for the receivers to get the timing down. To find out soon, it will help us. We are still going to do our job to help the team to get better.”
Paxton Lynch was once again outplayed by Trevor Siemian on Saturday. Lynch was the beneficiary of three 49ers turnovers in the first half, turning them into an 11-yard touchdown drive and two field goal drives of 26 and 11 yards. The former Memphis star completed 9-of-13 passes for just 39 yards. He also missed some open receivers and threw into traffic, once again proving he has a long way to go in making reads.
Lynch got the start, with Siemian taking over late in the second half. Last year’s starter completed 8-of-11 passes for 93 yards and threw a 19-yard touchdown. Those who watched the game will tell you Siemian outperformed Lynch by a mile.
Thomas has already been challenged by his new head coach this offseason, but it’s hard for receivers to build chemistry with two players at once. Given the way Lynch looked on Saturday, the Broncos would be wise to just name Siemian the starter.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr denied that his actions during the national anthem on Saturday, in which he put his hand on defensive end Khalil Mack’s shoulder, was any type of protest.
Instead, Carr said he was simply sending a message of solidarity.
“What we wanted to do was show all the kids that look up to me, look up to him, that white kids, blue kids, brown kids, blue, green, doesn’t matter, can all be loving to each other,” Carr said, via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. “And that’s what me and Khalil are — we’re best friends and we love one another.
“The only reason we did that is to unify people, and to unify the people that look up to us because, obviously, we see what’s going on in the world and, obviously, everyone pays attention to the national anthem nowadays, and so we just said this was the best time to do it while still honoring our country. Because I love this country, more than anything. We’re free to live here and play this game, but we’re also free to show each other that we love one another. And I think that that’s the message, and that’s the only message we were trying to get out.”
Carr isn’t the only player to do such a thing, as national anthem actions evolve a bit from Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling last season.
LeGarrette Blount was an exciting addition for Philadelphia Eagles fans after his outstanding season with the New England Patriots last year, but is there a chance the veteran may not make it to the regular season?
Blount has rushed for just 17 yards on nine carries in two preseason games. While it’s never wise to get worked up about the preseason, he’s on the wrong side of 30 and has reportedly looked slow — yes, even slower than usual. In a piece he wrote for NJ.com over the weekend, Matt Lombardo speculated that Blount could be one of the veterans the Eagles end up cutting.
The 30-year-old has struggled to get to the corner on off-tackle runs and it appears as though the workload of last season’s 299 carries with the New England Patriots last season.
In Doug Pederson’s offense, running backs are asked to catch the ball out of the backfield and run off tackle more often than not, neither of which are the strengths of Blount’s game.
The Patriots could have re-signed Blount for fairly cheap money, so that is a bad sign if you believe in Bill Belichick’s uncanny ability to identify when players are about to begin their decline. In reality, Blount’s 1,161 rushing yards and league-leading 18 touchdowns in 2016 were more a product of New England’s high-powered offense and frequency of trips to the goal line.
Carson Wentz could take a big step forward this season now that he has Alshon Jeffery to throw to, but Tom Brady he is not. A 30-year-old Blount is unlikely to thrive outside of the Patriots’ system. The Eagles may be already starting to realize that.
The New York Jets still have not announced who their starting quarterback will be for Week 1, and they apparently don’t want to risk having Josh McCown shed any light on the subject.
McCown did not play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Detroit Lions, despite Jets coach Todd Bowles saying earlier in the week that the veteran quarterback “needs work” and would take some snaps.
“Thursday night, we just decided that he didn’t need it,” Bowles told reporters, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “We wanted to see the other two guys. Josh has played in a million preseason games. At the last minute, we decided to make that decision.”
How did McCown feel about not getting any reps? We wouldn’t know. According to Mehta, McCown told two reporters who approached him outside the locker room that a Jets media relations official told him “don’t talk.”
The quarterback situation in New York gets a lot of attention. We have heard mixed reports about how Christian Hackenberg is coming along, and Bryce Petty played pretty well on Saturday. He completed 15 of 24 passes for 160 yards and led two drives that resulted in field goals.
Perhaps the Jets don’t want McCown saying anything that would run contradictory to the recent comments Bowles made about the QB competition, but you’d think a 38-year-old veteran would be trusted to speak to the media.
It sounds like Brock Osweiler is leading the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback race, but he could still be usurped by a rookie competitor.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, DeShone Kizer is still very much in the mix to start on opening weekend in large part because of his exceptional physical tools.
Kizer has been very impressive in practice, making throws that have the coaching staff salivating. He has also shown at least some acumen during games, demonstrated by one play in the team’s preseason opener that saw him clear out a linebacker and turn it into a 22-yard gain.
Kizer will be No. 2 on the Browns’ depth chart on Monday against the New York Giants, so he’ll face better talent than he has in the past. If he performs well for the remainder of the preseason, he could at least make the Browns think about giving him the nod.
At least one player is under the impression that Osweiler will win the job. He still sounds like the favorite, but Kizer is clearly not out of it. The final preseason games will be interesting.
- DeShone Kizer
The Indianapolis Colts may be trying to erase another one of former general manager Ryan Grigson’s lasting marks on the franchise.
In an appearance Saturday on “The Rich Eisen Show,” Mike Lombardi of The Ringer reported that Colts wide receiver Phillip Dorsett is available for trade.
The 24-year-old Dorsett was drafted in the first round by Grigson just two years ago, ahead of the likes of Landon Collins, David Johnson, and others. He has largely underwhelmed through his first two seasons however and posted what technically qualified as career-bests in 2016 with 528 yards and two TDs.
The Colts already signed some potential competition for Dorsett this summer, and trading the University of Miami product outright could be the next logical step to help them put the Grigson era in the rearview mirror once and for all.
Image via Indianapolis Colts on YouTube