Vaughan Throws Away His Chance to Shine at Quarterback

Well, at least now we know: Dustin Vaughan isn’t the Cowboys’ quarterback of the future.

We didn’t think he was. But now – after Sunday night’s hideous performance in Santa Clara – we’re pretty certain. Tony Romo still has 3-4 peak years in him, but after that the search will continue. Because Vaughan did nothing to signal that he’s ready to be an NFL quarterback.

It was an ugly night all around. The Cowboys couldn’t cover kicks, had a punt blocked and lost 23-6 to the 49ers. Even Dan Bailey missed a field goal.

“It was not every good,” head coach Jason Garrett said in his post-game press conference. “It wasn't very good on offense. It wasn't very good on defense. It wasn't very good in the kicking game. It wasn't very good early, middle or late.”

Other than that, it was … Oh, forget it. It was bad.

Especially the No. 3 quarterback whom some in the organization had a chance to push for No. 2 during training camp.


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Romo played three snaps and backup Brandon Weeden suffered a concussion on his first series. The table was set for Vaughan, and he wound up tripping on the table cloth, breaking all the plates and completely ruining the meal.

The Cowboys didn’t play Dez Bryant and 4/5ths of the starting offensive line sat out with various injuries. But, still, Vaughan was, well, horrible. He was panicky in the pocket. He threw late. He threw high. He threw when he shouldn’t have thrown. He threw where he shouldn’t have thrown. He threw an interception to a 300-pound defensive lineman for a touchdown, tossed another pick over the middle and only two salivating 49ers colliding prevented him from three interceptions – in the first half.

He finished 7 of 16 for 84 yards, two interceptions and two sacks. His rating? Would you believe, 20.8?

Bottom line: Vaughan looked every bit the practice-squad quarterback.

Vaughan’s a free agent out of West Texas A&M. So, obviously, it’s not the end of the world. But for the Cowboys, Vaughan certainly isn’t the end of the search.

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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