I think the decision to get Andy Dalton was a great signing by the Cowboys for the obvious reasons. Insurance if Dak gets hurt or holds out. My question is, does this mean the end of Cooper Rush as backup or do they keep three and he’s the third option?— ARLEIGH DUFF / CROMWELL, CT
Rob: Rush is set to make $2.1 million this year. That would be a big salary for a QB3 given how much they’ve got invested in Dak and Dalton (at least $34.5 million combined next season, factoring in Dak’s reported $31.5 million franchise tag). I wouldn’t totally rule out keeping three under the new 55-man roster limit, though. Don’t forget about Ben DiNucci, their seventh-round pick. He’ll have a chance to show what he can do, too. In recent years the Cowboys have gone with only two QBs and gone long at other positions. But they do have two extra spots now.
David: It’s hard to paint the Dalton signing as good news for Cooper Rush. At the very best, he’s now in a competition with Ben DiNucci for the third quarterback job. At the very worst, there’s no guarantee they even keep three quarterbacks – and it’s hard to justify Rush’s salary for a third-stringer. If I had to guess right now, the Cowboys will either wind up rolling with two quarterbacks, or they’ll opt to keep the cheap rookie. But that probably depends on how well Rush plays. The ball is in his court.
I realize the Cowoys are still processing last week’s 2020 draft, but how big is having four compensatory picks in next year’s 2021 draft?— WALTER DE BELL / TROY, NY
Rob: No one in the world — literally, no one — can put that compensatory formula in layman’s terms. But four seems to be a popular projection, and if so, that’s tremendous capital to have. They’ve already put that projection to use. Knowing they’re likely to get multiple comp picks next year, they decided it was worthwhile to trade back into the fourth round and draft center Tyler Biadasz. Losing a fifth-rounder means little if you’ve got more Day 3 picks coming.
David: As excited as we all are about this most recent draft class, there’s plenty of reason to be pumped for next year. Like Rob said, it’s hard to predict the formula, but it’s a very good bet that they’ll get a third-round compensatory pick for Byron Jones. If they get that, then everything else will be gravy. There’s a lot of potential for them to have some fun in next year’s draft.