Stephen McGee has proved the adage that there are few better jobs than being a backup quarterback.
When you're a backup, you can't do anything wrong and serve as everyone's imaginary savior when things go wrong for the starter. The fact that the backup is almost always a backup for a reason doesn't enter the equation because it's all about the possibility of what they could do instead of the reality of what they are.
McGee has never given any reason to believe he could be an effective NFL starter, but every year since he joined the Cowboys has featured at least one call to make him the starting quarterback. Insert whichever Tony Romo criticism is in vogue at the moment, point to McGee as a guy who can do a better job and then repeat as needed. It's an easy recipe, albeit one that may be coming to an end.
McGee started against the Dolphins on Wednesday and again showed he could handle third-stringers. The team obviously doesn't think he can handle more than that or they wouldn't have gone with Jon Kitna and Kyle Orton as the second choice and it sounds like they're about done with using a roster spot on a guy who hasn't progressed in his first three-plus seasons.
Well, as much as Jerry Jones could make it sound like that while also trying to make it seem like McGee is the best thing to happen to football since the goal post.
"I think we have seen some things out of McGee tonight that are really encouraging," Jones said, via NFL.com. "Actually, its vintage McGee. You'd like to see him be quicker with the ball, but you see him make some plays. Other teams of course have shown interest in Stephen McGee, so we know that somebody thinks he's a pretty good ball player. We do, too. It will really depend upon our fifty-third guy without McGee. Do we think we can live with him or do we think we need the third QB? So that will be something we go through tonight after the game and make the decision tomorrow."
"Vintage McGee" is one of the funnier turns of phrase we've ever encountered as it conjures up the idea that there's something memorable about anything McGee has ever done as a Cowboy. There isn't, though, and we suggest that the Cowboys say yes if there's actually a team out there willing to give up something of value (no matter how minimal the value) for him.
The only way to read this is as Jones letting the world know that McGee is hitting the bricks in hopes of getting a team with a low waiver position to pony up something for him before the Cowboys cut him. Good luck with that, but McGee's place on the team shouldn't be contingent on someone else wanting to take him off the team's hands.