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Cowboys future focus: QB Stephen McGee

Second in a series looking at Cowboys young players from 2010.

STEPHEN McGEE

Position: Quarterback

Height: 6-3. Weight: 222

College: Texas A&M

How acquired: 4th round, 2009 draft, No. 101 overall

What he did in 2010: McGee gave the Cowboys good reason to continue investing time in him. There was some internal discussion about keeping only two quarterbacks during training camp, but he hushed that by completing 27 of 42 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown in the preseason finale against the Miami Dolphins, who played their starters most of the first half. Injuries to Tony Romo and Jon Kitna forced the Cowboys to play McGee in the final six quarters of the season. He managed to lead late go-ahead touchdown drives in both games. He threw a beautiful deep ball over a safety to Miles Austin for a 37-yard touchdown with less than two minutes remaining against the Cardinals, although the Cowboys managed to blow that game. After struggling all game in the season finale in Philadelphia, he led a nine-play, 54-yard drive that he capped by hitting Jason Witten with the game-winning 4-yard touchdown with 55 seconds remaining. McGee completed 22 of 44 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers during his regular-season action. He also showed the athleticism that intrigued the Cowboys, rushing for 74 yards on 13 carries.

What to look for in 2011: He should continue to serve as the No. 3 quarterback behind Romo and Kitna. If all goes well, he won’t play after the preseason. The 25-year-old McGee, who lives a few blocks away from the Cowboys’ Valley Ranch practice facility so he can spend as much time there as possible, will continue to work on improving his throwing and drop mechanics and his grasp of the mental aspect of playing quarterback in the NFL.

Quotable: "Just the six quarters that I got, I felt like I grew a lot. The practice time that I got [the last week of the season], I felt like I grew a lot. I got to feel what it’s like. I don’t have a lot of experience under my belt, but man, I learned a lot. There’s a lot of things I can grow on, just little things that I can work on in the offseason and get ready to go next year, just continue to find a way to get better and grow as a player. That’s what I try to do every day, just stay the course, stay the process. Certainly these last six quarters certainly helped me a lot, even though it wasn’t always pretty." – Stephen McGee

Bryan Broaddus’ Scout’s Eye: There’s no question how tough he is and how smart he is. The question is making the throws, stepping up in the pocket and not always wanting to get outside and having to run. The best throws he made were the slants in the games I saw. Stephen’s going to have to learn how to be a pocket passer and throw from the pocket instead of always trying to move around and throw the ball. But if you’ve got a guy with toughness and smarts, I think those are things you can work with. The guy will work at it and try to get better, but the big thing will be him having the confidence to move forward and step into a throw. But I don’t discount a guy like that.