Is it time to pass on Stephen McGee?

June, 25, 2012
6/25/12
12:54
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The Cowboys have used veteran quarterbacks the last few seasons to back up Tony Romo.

Meanwhile, Stephen McGee, the kid from Texas A&M, sits and waits. And waits and waits.

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At some point McGee has to make progress and challenge for the No. 2 spot at quarterback. Jon Kitna, the backup last season, battled back issues and was nearing retirement as McGee looked on from afar.

But McGee didn't do anything in his development to force the Cowboys to not seek a veteran quarterback in the offseason. One thing the franchise likes in current backup Kyle Orton is his experience. He's started 69 games in this league and dealt with the scrutiny of being a starter, especially in Denver last season.

McGee has struggled at times on the practice fields and sometimes it's not his fault. He's working with the youngest players on the team, so sometimes he tells players where to line up and what to do in the huddle. Then he's got to complete a pass against the first-or second-team defense.

McGee doesn't throw deep passes often in practice because of the coverage, so he dumps things off. It's got to be hard to evaluate McGee when he does this. You could say he makes the smart decision by not throwing passes into coverage, but you would like to see him challenge defenses.

He's got just 82 career attempts in four NFL seasons, making it hard to know what he can really do. But this summer and in the preseason, the Cowboys need to give McGee a hard, hard look.

If he can't challenge Orton for the No. 2 spot, Rudy Carpenter, who is part of the 90-man training camp roster, should make a serious run at McGee.

If McGee or Carpenter can't impress the offensive coaching staff, go with two quarterbacks.

It's not the end of the world or the best option, but you want good players on your team. The time is now to see if McGee is a good fit for these Cowboys.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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