Dak Prescott shattered his ankle in the Cowboys last-second win over the Giants on Sunday, and with it, Dallas playoff hopes took a bit hig too.
Dallas signed Andy Dalton this offseason to serve as Prescott's backup, and right now the move looks savvy. A ten-year starter for the Bengals, Dalton has plenty of experience getting to the playoffs, though in four trips to the postseason Dalton has never won a game.
Looking at the remaining 11 games of the 2020 season Dallas probably feels as confident in Dalton as a team can in their backup quarterback. He's not a world beater, but Dalton is capable, as he showed in relief of Prescott on Sunday completing nine of 11 passes for 111 yards.
Where Dallas can't feel comfortable, however, is after Dalton.
The only other QB on the Cowboys' active roster is Ben DiNucci, a seventh-round rookie out of James Madison.
At 2-3 Dallas is in the driver's seat in the NFC East and has a legit shot at the playoffs. If Dalton goes down and the team must turn to DiNucci, things could get ugly.
That creates a weird scenario where Washington and Dallas might be able to help each other.
Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera decided last week to bench 2019 first-rounder Dwayne Haskins in favor of backup QB Kyle Allen. Haskins didn't just move to the backup role, however, he got demoted to third string. Download and subscribe to Washington Football Talk Podcast
In Washington's 30-10 loss to the Rams on Sunday, Allen got hurt and veteran Alex Smith came in the game. Smith's performance was incredible from a comeback standpoint and decent from a game-play standpoint, but it proved undoubtedly that he can handle being back on the field.
There has already been a report that those close to Haskins want a trade out of D.C., and due to a stomach virus, he didn't even attend Washington's game on Sunday.
So is there any chance Dallas would call on Haskins?
The Cowboys need a quarterback, and it looks like Washington has too many.
Rivera said Allen will start again next week in New York assuming he's fully healthy. The assumption is that Smith will stay on in the backup role. So that leaves Haskins inactive, again, if everything holds.
No matter what anyone thinks of Haskins, he's very obviously a better prospect than DiNucci.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones cannot be comfortable with the prospect of a seventh-round rookie being his backup QB, but there are plenty of options beyond Haskins.
Former Cowboys backup QB Cooper Rush is a free agent, as is Colin Kaepernick. Neither move would cost the Cowboys any draft compensation. Other QBs around the league could be available in a trade, maybe Brian Hoyer in New England or Tyrod Taylor in Los Angeles.
From a logical standpoint Haskins to Dallas could make sense. He has a big arm and the Cowboys have a bunch of big-time offensive weapons that like to go downfield.
But is Washington owner Dan Snyder really going to trade the QB he wanted to his rival owner Jones?
That seems far-fetched.
It's important to note that Washington made a trade with San Francisco during the NFL Draft. That meant Snyder dealt with Kyle Shanahan, a big step for the franchise in allowing the smartest football move to happen even if it meant swallowing some pride for ownership.
Still, a 15th overall pick that reportedly Snyder demanded Washington take, traded to the Cowboys, just one year later? That's hard to buy, not to mention rarely do inter-divisional trades happen, let alone in season.
Dallas needs a quarterback, Washington appears to have an extra one, but that doesn't mean a trade is happening.