I was as honest as possible, and considering the coaching and talent in place, I concluded (with a straight face, mind you), that Dallas was a viable threat to win it all.
If not win the Super Bowl, the Cowboys would at least be better than they were in 2019, and an NFC East title was surely in the cards.
As things stand, none of that looks like a lock. Dallas is reeling, and the organization is either going to just embrace the tank thanks to Prescott’s absence, or they need to work some magic.
One big move they could do is upgrade the quarterback position. It wouldn’t solve everything, but it may be enough to get Dallas back into the playoffs.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is the number one guy they should be eyeing. Miami just benched him so they could move forward with the Tua Tagovailoa era, and there’s little doubt he can be had in a trade.
Whether you’re on board or not, I’ll detail why the Dallas Cowboys should trade for Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Can Still Play
I totally get the Dolphins wanting to start their rookie franchise passer, Tua Tagovailo. The timing, of course, makes zero sense.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was balling out. The 37-year old journeyman had 10 touchdowns and 1,535 yards. The latter was good for 13th most in the league, while Fitz’s touchdowns were tied for sixth-most in the NFL, too.
Ryan Fitzpatrick appreciation post. Through six games:
This ageless wonder was dealing out there, and he’d also nudged a pretty weak Miami team to a 3-3 start. At the time of this writing – and prior to his benching – that was good for second place in the suddenly winnable AFC East.
With Fitzpatrick being benched (and hopefully traded), Miami sits with +650 odds to claim the division, at the top NFL betting websites. Changing from a seasoned veteran to a rookie with an injury history probably makes the Dolphins winning this division even less likely now.
The point, of course, is that Fitzpatrick was willing Miami into playoff contention, he was putting up comparable stats to the league’s best passers, and he can still play.
Fitzmagic Needs to Be in Our Lives
Quick sidebar for fans of pro football; the NFL is better with Ryan Fitzpatrick starting games.
Yeah, he’s played for a million teams, and sure, he turns the ball over. But he’s constantly pushing the ball down the field, he takes chances, and when things are clicking, he puts up impressive numbers.
This dude has simply never gotten a fair shake. That’s why he was so shell-shocked when Miami pulled the rug out from under him.
Fitzpatrick had really just one shot with a franchise in terms of stability, and the Bills moved on from him after several strong statistical seasons.
Regardless of pretty much zero continuity in his career, Fitz just keeps trucking on, moving to his next NFL stop and helping his new team win games.
Fitzmagic, the beard, the recklessness, and the big plays; it’s a collective of NFL goodness that the game desperately needs. Shame on Miami for robbing us all of that (2020 gonna 2020, I reckon), but Dallas can rectify that with a trade.
So Someone Can Win Some Money
Ryan Fitzpatrick has already done the deed of helping Tua Tagovailoa along to start his pro football career. Now he’s just set to collect dust on the sidelines.
It caused Fitzpatrick to wonder if this was his last chance to start in the NFL, and the whole situation has many reserved to that idea.
Even the top NFL sportsbooks are pricing this situation as if Fitzpatrick is going to be stuck in backup purgatory. Check out the odds for Ryan Fitzpatrick to get traded before the 2020 NFL trade deadline, per MyBookie.
Obviously, the odds indicate Fitzmagic isn’t going anywhere. Like I said, I understand why Miami would want to keep Fitzpatrick. Tua’s injury history, early struggles, and the mentorship role are all good reasons to keep the guy on the roster.
That said, you can aim for the skies here and honestly feel pretty good about it. Miami doesn’t have a real need for a starting quarterback wasting away on their bench, so if someone (*cough* Cowboys *cough*) dangles an offer they can’t refuse, why would they resist it?
They shouldn’t. In fact, they should already be fielding as many calls that seem logical, and land on the best price. Considering their situation, Dallas should be among the most interested teams in the NFL.
Cowboys Are Floundering Without Dak Prescott
Morale is at an all-time low in Dallas. This is a team that was in a year-long battle with Dak Prescott in regards to a long-term contract issue.
Now that’s put on hold, as Prescott suffered a gruesome injury. Dallas contests he remains in their future plans, but who knows if the guy will be the same?
Obviously losing a superstar quarterback hurts from a talent perspective, and at this point, there’s just no replacing what Prescott brings to the table.
But Dallas wasn’t consistently winning games even before Dak got hurt. Suddenly they thrust Andy Dalton into the fire, the losses keep coming, and players are anonymously slamming the coaching staff.
It is an ugly vibe right now, and the Cowboys need to do something to fix it – and fast.
Andy Dalton Isn’t the Answer
Years ago, I probably would have been among the Andy Dalton truthers out there. He never won in the playoffs, wasn’t very successful against elite teams, and had average arm strength.
All true statements, but he was likable, he worked hard, and he was otherwise a rock-solid starter.
Unfortunately, that didn’t ever really get it done in Cincinnati, and it probably won’t work out too well in Dallas, either. The harsh reality is Dalton’s modest arm strength has only waned over the years, and he probably isn’t aggressive enough to maximize the talent around him.
If the Cowboys want to run the football, rely on their defense, and have Dalton manage games, then sure, this could work.
Sadly, their defense is horrendous, and opposing defenses will just play the run to force Dalton to try to beat them. Trading for someone like Ryan Fitzpatrick completely opens up this passing game, and adds an explosive dynamic the team wouldn’t have with Dalton under center.
Jerry Jones Wants to Win Now
The biggest reason why the Dallas Cowboys should trade for Ryan Fitzpatrick is because they want to win now. More specifically, an aging and increasingly impatient Jerry Jones wants to win as soon as possible.
Is Fitzpatrick realistically the guy to help Dallas win their first title since the mid-90’s? No, but he offers more upside for this offense than anyone else will in 2020.
Jerry Jones has never been a stranger to risk and/or doing all he can to make the ‘Boys better. Sticking with Andy Dalton is a low floor option, and Fitzmagic gives Dallas a better ceiling.
It’s a risky move, but one Jones and company probably need to make.
The NFC East Can Be Had
These are all good reasons why the Cowboys should trade for Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the most obvious one is that they play in the worst division in football.
Dallas might not look like a title threat. In any other division, they wouldn’t even have realistic playoff hopes.
But the fact that they absolutely can still win the NFC East means they could still easily sneak into the playoffs. Once in, that first game would be in Texas, and who knows what would happen from there?
Getting into the NFL playoffs is the first step. Dallas has a very good path to that by playing in a trash division. This should appeal to Fitzpatrick, and landing a quarterback upgrade can’t hurt Dallas as they try to win first place.
Will the Cowboys Trade for Ryan Fitzpatrick?
Ultimately, I doubt it. There is still mild concern the Dolphins will just hold onto Fitzpatrick in an effort to help Tua as much as possible. I also don’t know if Dallas views Fitzpatrick as a big enough upgrade over Dalton.
Dallas went out of their way to bring in Dalton for this exact reason. The initial fear was probably that Prescott would maybe hold out, or that he’d walk after this season. Dalton’s presence made those realities less problematic.
The reasoning has changed in a sense, but now the Cowboys look smart for bringing in a viable backup. And hey, it’s still possible that Dalton can hold down the fort and do enough to get the Cowboys into the playoffs.
I’d personally love to see the Cowboys trade for Fitzpatrick. He didn’t make the cut in my 2020 NFL trade deadline predictions, but it’s still a logical move I’d love to see go down.
He’d be fun, he’d be productive, he’d make Dallas more watchable, and I think the Cowboys would be better off for it.
Even if that doesn’t happen, I still think betting on Ryan Fitzpatrick to get traded somewhere makes good sense. That +550 price is just too good when you consider the likely interest from all parties.
Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.
When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.