REMEMBER during the 2020 Draft, Eagles GM Howie Roseman said that he wanted the Eagles to be a “QB factory”. Well the first product to roll off the line may be QB Nate Sudfeld. Regrettably the Eagles only have Sudfeld under contract for 2020, so we won’t get anything for him, but the Dallas Cowboys seem like the most likely 2021 landing spot for him.
Currently Dallas is embroiled in a fruitless standoff with free agent QB Dak Prescott. The Cowboys slapped a 31M$ franchise tag on him, as a counter to his unconfirmed request of over 40M$ per year. The two sides are so far apart, that unless one side caves completely, you can just about bet that Prescott won’t sign the tag, and has already played his last down as a Cowboy.
At this rate, this time next year will see Prescott in another jersey, and the Cowboys will be in search of a new franchise QB. Unless they tank in 2020, they likely won’t have a shot at one in the 2021 Draft. So their search might take years. Unless they hit upon another QB like Tony Romo (undrafted free agent), or Prescott (4th rounder). Right?
Problem with bargain basement QB’s is that they tend to yield bargain basement playoff success. Romo and Prescott have a combined 3 – 6 playoff record. Neither ever made it past the Divisional round while they were a Cowboy. QUICK! Where was Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman selected? Oh that’s right! He was a #1 overall pick in 1989. He also won three Super Bowls.
So don’t expect much from the Cowboys trying to take a shortcut. Bargain basement effort, yields bargain basement returns. Top-shelf is on the top shelf for a reason. Reaching for anything else…is just settling. And unless 3 – 6 is your style, settling ain’t winning.
Next year the Cowboys will need a QB, and the guy they’re trying to short-change, will have an easier time finding job, than the Cowboys will of finding a new QB. That will leave the Cowboys with options like what’s left of Cam Newton or Phillip Rivers, Jacoby Brissett (not a bad option), Andy Dalton, Mitch Trubisky, Jameis Winston, or Nate Sudfeld. Folks, those are the highlights of the 2021 QB free agent market.
But Nate Sudfeld? Why Nate Sudfeld and not those other guys?
If the Cowboys are going to start looking for a franchise QB, they can only go one of two routes: A) Hand the keys to a rookie and roll the dice, or B) Develop a QB, to give him a bonafide chance to succeed. Picking door #1 could yield any result. Door #2 however, is a process. That’s where they would need Nate, specifically.
To develop a QB, a team has to do it from a point of stability. So they first need to start out with a QB who they can rely on if the new guy is a dud. So they’d need youth. Not raw youth, because then their older free agents won’t stick around to lose games, thus creating holes that will cost more draft picks. He also can’t be so bad that fans will scream for the young guy, well before he’s ready.
They’ll also need the QB to be relatively inexpensive. This is because getting some of those older FA’s to stay, will mean overpaying them. A young QB needs stability around him. Constant change has wasted plenty of promising QB talent. Right, RG3?
The final ingredient, is a guy that fans will let a team move on from, once that young gun is ready for the job. So while a guy like Brissett may look appealing from the get-go, you don’t want him accidentally growing on your fan base.
Nate Sudfeld was almost cooked up in a lab to be the Cowboys 2021 starter. Not a heavyweight, but not a lightweight. He’s been well-coached, isn’t too expensive, not an injury risk, has prototypical build, strong enough arm, comes from a winning culture, and might bring a wealth of intel about the enemy. Comb that list up there, and you’ll see that no one even comes close.
So why is an Eagles fan so giddy over the thought of Nate going there? Because the Cowboys will almost certainly not opt for developing a QB. Even if they do, the process takes a couple of years. That means barring a miracle after 2020, a division rival is out of the running for a minimum of two years. Longer if they get their gamble wrong.
Oh by the way. Keep in mind that ALL OF THIS is balanced against the ticking of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’s biological clock. So they will feel obligated to rush all of this. And people in a big rush, always do stupid things. Sometimes VERY stupid, costly things.
Damn. If only we’d signed Nate to a two year deal.