With Andy Dalton’s departure, the Dallas Cowboys are still in the market for a backup quarterback, and Teddy Bridgewater is being mentioned by some analysts as a possible option. Bridgewater has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason and is even more available now that the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold.
USA Today’s K.D. Drummond believes it is unlikely the Panthers are going to find a trade partner for Bridgewater given his $17 million salary. Drummond sees the Cowboys as a top option for Bridgewater in the event he is released by the Panthers.
“It’s possible Bridgewater could find a job where he competes for a starting gig, but he may also have to go the Dalton route, be a backup for a year, hope to get some starts and rebuild his image,” Drummond explained. “He’ll have $10 million in his pocket for the trouble and with the (more-than-likely) offseason language in his contract, could sign somewhere for the league minimum and the Panthers are on the hook for the other $9 million-plus.”
The case for the Cowboys centers around Dalton and his ability to parlay his experience in Dallas into a potential starting gig with the Bears. Dallas does not offer Bridgewater a chance to compete to be the starting quarterback, but Dak Prescott is coming off a significant ankle injury. While the Cowboys are optimistic Prescott will be fully healthy this season, there is always the chance of reinjury or complications that makes having a viable backup quarterback a top priority.
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Dallas Is Competing Against Teams Who Have More Uncertainty at Quarterback
Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon also believes the Cowboys are a viable option for Bridgewater for some of the same reasons mentioned above. Gagnon admits there will likely be more attractive options that the Cowboys would be competing against.
“Dallas saw its season go down the drain when Dak Prescott was injured in October, and it doesn’t have a quality insurance policy in place after losing Andy Dalton on the free-agent market,” Gagnon explained. “The Cowboys wouldn’t likely be Bridgewater’s first choice considering that Prescott is locked in permanently as the QB1, but it’s an attractive football environment and Jerry Jones could make a strong pitch. Still, this ranks on the low end of the list because of Prescott’s presence as well as the fact the Cowboys have less than $10 million in salary-cap space, according to Spotrac.”
Bridgewater posted 3,733 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing 69.1% of his passes during his 15 starts last season.
The Broncos Are Among the Favorites to Land Bridgewater
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Panthers have given Bridgewater permission to seek a trade. Bridgewater faces an uphill battle to find a trade partner unless he significantly restructures his deal.
“Following the trade for Sam Darnold, the Panthers spoke with QB Teddy Bridgewater and allowed him the opportunity to talk with teams to potentially facilitate a trade, sources say,” Rapoport tweeted. “Carolina is open to Bridgewater returning, but will give him a chance to have a say in his future.”
The Cowboys’ chances to land Bridgewater are helped by the fact that there is a strong quarterback class in the upcoming draft as well as several teams acquiring veteran quarterbacks during free agency. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora labels the Broncos as the favorite to add Bridgewater.
“Would be very surprised if Teddy Bridgewater is not in Denver by draft weekend,” La Canfora noted. “Continue to hear buzz about it and I know the Broncos are quite interested. It fits Fangio’s model perfectly and the new GM was a part of the Vikings brass that drafted Teddy B.”
Regardless of whether the Cowboys add Bridgewater, the team needs a better insurance policy behind Prescott as Mike McCarthy admitted earlier this offseason. It will be worth watching to see who the Cowboys add as the offseason progresses.