With Mike McCarthy, expect Cowboys to find a QB in Day 3 of NFL draft


As Day 3 of the 2020 NFL draft commences, quarterback becomes a position to watch for coach Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys.

It has nothing to do with Dak Prescott‘s future or the seemingly forever contract negotiations between the quarterback’s agent and the organization.

It has everything to do with McCarthy and maybe a little to do with the backup situation with Cooper Rush entering the final year of his contract.

“One of the things Mike brings is, frankly, a really good background developing quarterbacks and working with quarterbacks and a very astute coaching perspective of what makes a good quarterback for what we hope to be his team for years to come,” Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “I’m looking forward to following quarterbacks with Mike as coach. All of that weighs into let’s make sure we have somebody here — or some bodies — that are getting those snaps that are precious, whether they’re in preseason, practice or whether it could be in a ball game, make sure they’re going to someone who’s got the future in mind along with doing what we need to do to win the ball game should we not have Dak in there.”

During the Cowboys’ pre-draft news conference, the team invoked McCarthy’s former employer, the Green Bay Packers. Under Ron Wolf, the Packers selected quarterbacks such as Mark Brunell, Aaron Brooks and Matt Hasselbeck — even though they had Brett Favre on the team.

In McCarthy’s 13-year run with the Packers, they selected five quarterbacks: Ingle Martin (fifth round, 2006), Brian Brohm (second round, 2008), Matt Flynn (seventh round, 2008), B.J. Coleman (seventh round, 2012) and Brett Hundley (fifth round, 2015).

Flynn won games for an injured Aaron Rodgers and earned a big free-agent contract from the Seattle Seahawks. Hundley was traded to the Seahawks for a sixth-round pick in 2018.

“You can see the value not only it has for your football team and the starter,” McCarthy said, “but also the value it can bring to your football team as younger quarterbacks move on.”

Since Jones took over the Cowboys in 1989, the Cowboys have drafted six quarterbacks: Troy Aikman, who went No. 1 overall that first year, followed by Bill Musgrave (fourth round, 1991), Quincy Carter (second round, 2001), Stephen McGee (fourth round, 2009), Prescott (fourth round, 2016) and Mike White (fifth round, 2018).

So, when do the Cowboys look at a quarterbacks on Saturday? Perhaps Dallas will draft one in the fourth round (No. 123 overall), but it is more likely to be a selection made in the fifth round (Nos. 164 or 179 overall).

And who are the most likely QB options for the Cowboys? Florida International’s James Morgan and Iowa’s Nate Stanley would be near the top of that list.

And there’s another McCarthy tie to those two prospects. Morgan grew up in the shadow of Lambeau Field, playing at Ashwaubenon (Wisconsin) High School and had a virtual pre-draft visit with the Cowboys. Stanley grew up in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

“I think Mike’s going to have a great influence on us here in terms of what we may do going forward at the quarterback position,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said.

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