Backup QB breakdown

September, 1, 2009
9/01/09
12:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley



More: Chadiha: The plan | Scouts: Rating QBs | Rank 'em | Clayton: Next Cassel?


Dallas
: If Tony Romo is unavailable, the Cowboys would still have a chance at winning games. Jon Kitna's moving into his late 30s, but he still has plenty of arm strength and he's a huge improvement over Brad Johnson. Kitna doesn't have the mobility of Romo and he took a lot of sacks in Detroit. But he can make all the throws and he could succeed for an extended amount of time. The only thing that worries me about Kitna is that he's had a lot of trouble getting the snap from center in training camp and in preseason games. Not sure what the problem is there.

Roy Williams had the best year of his NFL career playing with Kitna. Romo's the unquestioned starter, but Kitna's presence makes the Cowboys feel a lot more comfortable heading into '09.


New York
: If Eli Manning's unavailable, the Giants are in trouble. David Carr looked a lot better against the Jets, but he had really been struggling before that. He's still sort of shell-shocked from his time with the Texans. He might be fine to get you through a game or two, but the Giants would struggle if Carr has to play four or five games. I don't think he gets the ball out quickly enough at this point. Even his own quarterbacks coach, Chris Palmer, called him out recently. With the arrival of Michael Vick in Philly, the Giants might have the weakest backup situation in the division. Right now, it seems Andre Woodson has the edge on Rhett Bomar to be the third quarterback.


Philadelphia
: If Donovan McNabb's unavailable, it will be Michael Vick time for the Eagles. Obviously, he won't become the No. 2 quarterback until he's fully reinstated by Roger Goodell, but that will likely happen fairly early in the season. Vick automatically becomes the best backup in the division based on his previous work. He'll be a huge threat in the Wildcat formation and I think he'd function well as the starter if something happens to McNabb. Vick's too young and talented to have the mind-set of a backup -- and that's not necessarily a bad thing for the Eagles. If McNabb gets injured, they want Vick to feel plenty of confidence as his replacement.


Washington
: If Jason Campbell is unavailable, Todd Collins will take over. Collins doesn't do anything flashy but he can do a good job of managing the team. He replaced an injured Campbell in the second half of the '07 season and led the Redskins on a remarkable playoff run. Collins doesn't have the arm strength to light it up in the vertical passing game, but he does a good job of checking down passes and not turning the ball over. Coach Jim Zorn thought that Colt Brennan might be ready to challenge Collins, but that never happened.

There's a good chance that former Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel will beat out Brennan for the No. 3 spot. He's outplayed him in the preseason. Daniel's nowhere close to being a starter in this league, but he's played with a lot of poise in the preseason. Let's see how he does in the Skins' final preseason game.

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