All-Time 10 Worst Cowboys’ Backup Quarterbacks

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Sorry, but my confidence in Brandon Weeden wouldn’t fill your grandma's sewing thimble. And if the Cowboys had much more, they wouldn’t have felt the need to trade for Matt Cassel while Tony Romo mends a broken collarbone the next seven games.

For the next eight weeks the Cowboys need to stay afloat until the reinforcements arrive for Thanksgiving and beyond. As I wrote Wednesday, I think Cassel starts a game for Dallas before Romo does. And that’s, of course, because I fear Weeden will fail.

Last Sunday’s 7-of-7 cameo in Philadelphia was encouraging, but there’s nothing – not in Cleveland, not in his lone Cowboys’ regular-season start and not in the handful of pre-season games – on Weeden’s resume that tells me he’s going to be good Sunday against Atlanta. In his only start as a Cowboy last November, he was 11 of 23 for 103 yards, two interceptions and no passes to a wide receiver, until a meaningless late touchdown drive against the Cardinals.

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This week Weeden won’t have Dez Bryant. Jason Witten will be hobbled. And he’ll be throwing against a Falcons’ defense that shut down the same two offenses that the Cowboys beat – the Giants and Eagles. Falcons’ new head coach Dan Quinn, by the way, is the same guy who built the Seahawks’ Super Bowl defense in Seattle.


I cringe at how ineffective Weeden might be Sunday at AT&T Stadium. Because up to this point, he’s on the wrong list of Cowboys’ backup quarterbacks:

10. Stephen McGee - 4th-round draft pick never threw an NFL interception, but lasted only two seasons on roster.

9. Brandon Weeden – Impressive performance in relief of Romo last week in Philly does little to erase disastrous two-interception start in '14.

8. Ryan Leaf - Ugly ’01 stint included one TD, three picks and a 57.7 rating

7. Tony Banks - Heralded as Troy Aikman’s successor in ’01, was beat out by Quincy Carter and cut in training camp.

6. Kevin Sweeney – ’87 scab hero faltered in ’88 with 42 percent completions, five interceptions and 40.2 rating.

5. Anthony Wright – ’00 cameo littered with no TDs, three interceptions and a 31.7 rating.

4. Clint Stoerner – Threw four picks in the second half of ’01 loss at the Giants.

3. John Roach – Filled in for Don Meredith in ’64 with one TD, six interceptions and a 31.1 rating.

2. Brad Johnson - In '08 he floundered his way to 5 of 11 for 71 yards and two interceptions in a 21-point loss to Giants. 

1. Babe Laufenberg – Backed up Aikman in ’90 with one TD, six interceptions and a woeful 16.9 rating.

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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