Dallas Cowboys: Making a Case for Signing Brian Hoyer

With Tony Romo likely out the door, the Dallas Cowboys will need a reliable option behind Dak Prescott. Brian Hoyer may be the perfect option to consider.

The Tony Romo conundrum is likely to be the most anticipated storyline of the upcoming off-season for the Dallas Cowboys. The rise of Dak Prescott, Tony’s press conference, and the fascinating journey of the Cowboys in 2016, led by two rookies to the best record in the NFC, have all been well-document.

Rumors surrounding Romo’s future have only begun to swirl and will likely never dissipate until a decision is made. While the future is still cloudy, Romo’s impact on this team comes without question. Taking a backseat role was tough, but his experience and leadership played a huge role in Daks development and helped maintain stability during a major transition.

Romo was arguably the top “backup” quarterback (and the most expensive), giving the Cowboys a lot of comfort should Prescott experience any injuries.

Jerry Jones admitted he is uncertain what the future holds for Romo, telling 105.3 The Fan (via the Dallas Morning News), “It’s a juncture we have to address. I don’t know how ultimately we will resolve this and nobody should be alarmed because you don’t have all the answers. There are some issues here that you just have to see how the cards are playing. But we’ll work to this.”

The situation with Romo will be figured out, but it likely leads to one of two outcomes. Either Romo will either be traded or released. His desire to play will probably keep him from staying on a reduced contract.

The departure of Romo is imminent, but when he leaves another question rises. Who will the Cowboys put in his place as backup to Dak Prescott?

There has been talking about Mark Sanchez. His relationship with Dak is healthy, and he also played a key role in his development. He has playoff experience and would be a strong veteran presence. But his play on the field has been less than desirable. Against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17, Sanchez finished completing 10 of 18 passes for 93 yards and two interceptions. Numbers like these don’t instill a lot of confidence should Dak miss time.

Kellen Moore has also been mentioned, but rumors suggest he could retire to enter into the coaching realm. Jameill Showers is currently on the practice squad, but do coaches believe he can be the #2 guy moving forward? Not likely. So, where does this leave Dallas?

Dallas will have to look for outside help. They could get someone in the draft, but that player would be a Day 3 prospect, and it’s highly unlikely they’d be ready to take over the #2 spot full-time. This will turn them to free agency. Options like Mike Glennon will be too expensive while others like Josh McCown may be too old. The Cowboys want a veteran presence, but one that is capable of playing efficiently and under a reasonable contract. Enter Brian Hoyer.

Brian Hoyer has been an incredibly underrated player that could be looked at as one of the best backup options in the entire league. In 2015, Hoyer played a total of 11 regular season games and finished with 2,606 yards, 19 touchdowns (seven interceptions), and a passer rating of 91.4. Comparably, Alex Smith finished with 3,486 yards, 20 touchdowns (to seven interceptions as well), and a passer rating of 95.4. However, it’s important to note this was done in 16 games, unlike the 11 for Hoyer. In 2016, Hoyer played in a total of six games, finishing with 1,445 yards, six touchdowns with no interceptions, and a 98.0 passer rating.

Comparably, Alex Smith finished with 3,486 yards, 20 touchdowns (to seven interceptions as well), and a passer rating of 95.4. However, it’s important to note this was done in 16 games, unlike the 11 for Hoyer. In 2016, Hoyer played in a total of six games, finishing with 1,445 yards, six touchdowns with no interceptions, and a 98.0 passer rating.

Oct 2, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer (2) prior to a game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 2, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer (2) prior to a game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

However, it’s important to note this was done in 16 games, unlike the 11 for Hoyer. In 2016, Hoyer played in a total of six games, finishing with 1,445 yards, six touchdowns with no interceptions, and a 98.0 passer rating.

These numbers are impressive and would provide a lot of stability to the backup quarterback position for Dallas.

Also, and possibly more importantly, Hoyer would be an affordable option. Before the 2016 season, he signed a one-year, $2,000,000 contract with the Chicago Bears. Because of his recent success, it’s likely he’ll be able to command more on the open market. It shouldn’t be a significant increase, however, and a longer term deal could keep it reasonable. A three-year, $6 million contract should be realistic enough to secure Hoyer and be a win-win for both sides.

Hoyer has been an underrated player nearly his entire career. Much of that has to do with a lack of athleticism and size (6’2″, 215 pounds), but his experience in multiple offenses, success in recent years, and his affordability should appeal to the Cowboys organization. He’s an eight-year veteran that can continue aiding Dak in his development and finally settle the questions surrounding the position once Romo is gone.

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