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Dallas Cowboys ‘begin exploring’ Cam Newton as backup QB: Why former MVP is a bad fit

Matt Fitzgerald

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The Dallas Cowboys are in the market for a backup quarterback after their initial roster cuts, and Cam Newton is reportedly someone they’re interested in acquiring.

According to ESPN’s Jordan Schultz, the Cowboys “will begin exploring” signing Newton:

Newton was released by the New England Patriots on Tuesday during league-wide roster cuts, as the Pats anointed rookie Mac Jones as their new starting QB.

Cowboys field general Dak Prescott is dealing with a shoulder injury ahead of the regular season, but doesn’t seem to be in danger of missing any time. Then again, the Cowboys need to be careful with their starting signal-caller, who’s coming off a major ankle injury as well.

As far as how Newton fits into the picture, well, it seems like there are better suitors and situations for him to land in, both in terms of how the organization is built and his chances of extending his career as a starter.

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Why Cam Newton is a bad fit for Dallas Cowboys

Why Cam Newton is a bad fit for Dallas Cowboys
August 10, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and owner Jerry Jones (right) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Having just signed a massive, multi-year contract extension this offseason, Prescott’s future with America’s Team is secure. There is no ambiguity as to who Dallas will start at QB in the coming years. Unless his play drops off completely, it will be Prescott’s job.

No non-injury path exists where Newton suits up for the Cowboys. If he ever did play, he’d inherit a great cast of skill players in tailback Ezekiel Elliot and wideouts Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb.

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That said, Newton would also be going to a franchise that hasn’t won much of anything lately. They’ve won two playoff games in the past decade, haven’t advanced past the Divisional Round since the 1996 season, and are employing a head coach in Mike McCarthy who looked completely in over his head in 2020.

Although the NFC East has been a winnable division of late, too often the Cowboys have failed to meet expectations. McCarthy could be fired if that happens again this year.

Even if it’s a one-year stint, other destinations would provide a better chance for Newton to boost his stock and hopefully compete for a starting job in 2022.

For instance, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a 44-year-old QB named Tom Brady, who Newton failed to succeed in New England, but could eventually replace there — provided TB12 ever retires. Maybe back-to-back Super Bowl wins would convince Brady to go out as a champion.

The Bucs are clearly better-run than the Cowboys, as is another team with an aging QB and no great backup, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who need a better plan for the post-Ben Roethlisberger era than Dwayne Haskins and Mason Rudolph.

Those are just a couple examples. All the controversy, perpetual noise and lack of sustained winning in Dallas is the last thing Newton needs in a potential suitor right now, especially after a stint with the Patriots.

Having such a loud personality and that much star power at the backup QB spot would be a classic Jerry Jones move to build buzz around the Cowboys.

If anything, it’d probably just create tension in the locker room, send a strange message to Prescott on the heels of his extension, and give Dallas two clear alpha dogs at the most important position, and give the overwhelmed McCarthy another issue to deal with.

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