The Dallas Cowboys currently have Dak Prescott as their starting QB, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the NFL team didn’t consider drafting another.
Prescott is a two-time Pro Bowler and Dallas’ favorite starting quarterback for six seasons. His future is less certain due to a lackluster postseason performance and an ankle injury that ended his season in 2020.
Now, Ian Rapoport , a NFL media insider , is pointing out the Cowboys might have been interested in Malik Willis (Liberty quarterback) who was drafted by Tennessee Titans in round 3 of the 2022 NFL draft.
Rapoport doesn’t confirm that Jerry Jones and Dallas were interested in Willis. Rapoport is however thinking about the reasons Tennessee wanted to jump the Cowboys.
“When you get to the third round, this is where you would take a quarterback who’s probably, sorta going to at least start out to be a backup. I wondered if the Titans thought the Cowboys were going to take him. They said, ‘You know what, we’re just going to leapfrog them, make sure we get our guy.’”
.@RapSheet said he wondered if the Titans traded up to take Malik Willis at 86 because they thought that the Cowboys might take him. FWIW Dallas took Jalen Tolbert at 88.
— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) May 2, 2022
Although it sounds fantastic, Rapoport’s points are valid considering Dallas’ current QB room.
Although Liberty isn’t known for producing top quarterback prospects, Willis’ stellar junior and senior seasons as well as his impressive arm strength made him one the most prominent names in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Willis began his college career at Auburn, before moving to Liberty two years later. He was immediately hired as a quarterback upon his arrival in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Willis completed 377 out of 604 passes over two seasons for 5107 receiving yards and 47 touchdowns, as well as 18 interceptions. After a 2020 10-1 season, Liberty finished 18-6. In 2021, Liberty was 8-5.
Lance Zierlein, an analyst at NFL.com, predicted Willis would be drafted in round one. However, only Kenny Pickett, a Pittsburgh QB was selected the first night. Willis was drafted in the third round by teams that looked elsewhere. This is an important reason Rapoport’s thoughts are valid.
Rapoport’s report on the Titans trading up for Willis was broken down by NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano. He questioned whether the Cowboys have a need to hire a quarterback. Rapoport suggested Willis as a backup, adding that Dallas still requires one. Tom Pelissero, a fellow NFL reporter, briefly supported the idea.
“Backups, everybody needs backups,” Pelissero said. The third round is where backups are drafted. There are not many men who can slide into the third round with the upside of Malik Willis.
This is where Willis would have been thrilling, since Prescott’s recent injuries have created the need for a skilled arm in an emergency. Willis is still young and will have growing pains. However, the ideal scenario would see him never playing in 2022.
Prescott could have taught Willis, and Willis could have learned from him. The Cowboys will have their quarterback of the future if Prescott regresses or has another serious injury. Dallas could have traded Willis if Willis didn’t make it.