BEREA, Ohio--Josh McCown has heard the rumors. In fact, he said his phone is "blowing up" from family members from his native state of Texas surrounding the possibility of him being traded to the Cowboys.
"I'm aware of that because my family is in Texas," McCown said. "As much. as you try to not be aware of things, they make you aware of things, so I'm aware of it, but my focus is here."
The rumors began as ESPN reported the Cowboys were exploring options to find a backup quarterback to replace Tony Romo's backup Kellen Moore, who suffered a broken ankle earlier this week. It is believed the Cowboys had their sights set on Nick Foles, but he signed with the Chiefs.
Robert Griffin III is expected to be named the starter for the Browns within the next week and it's unclear if the Browns will keep the 37-year old veteran. Hue Jackson and the coaching staff have praised McCown for his play and locker room presence.
McCown grew up in Texas and said he's worn No. 12 most of his career in honor of a Cowboys Hall of Famer.
"I think growing up in Texas and I’ve worn No. 12 most of my career because of Roger Staubach, my brother started doing that," he said. "So obviously, the Cowboys, if you grew up in Texas, is near and dear to everybody’s heart. But once you cross over into the business portion of this life, those allegiances kind of fly out the window and you have a job to do.
"So for me, my job and my heart is here and doing everything I can to help the Cleveland Browns be good," he said. "So that’s what I’m about and like I’ve told you guys before, you spend five minutes in this city and it’s easy to be all-in, because of how the people feel about this team. and then just being in the organization with the people here, with my teammates that are here. Having spent a year with Joe Thomas and Hawk (Andrew Hawkins) and Grec (John Greco) and these guys. Great relationships. So all of that is nice and it’s neat, especially being from Texas, but at the same time, this is where my focus is."
Greco, for one, doesn't like the idea of McCown being traded.
"Unbelievable value," Greco said. "Great locker room guy. He's played forever, played a lot of games, made a lot of starts, won a lot of games. He has tremendous value and is one of the leaders of the team and having him in the locker room is a great thing. That aside, that's the business side of things and we just hope he's with us."
McCown said he's never been one to make demands regarding his future.
"I mean, I guess you could to a certain degree," he said. "Everybody could take control of their future if they want to act a certain type of way, but for me, that’s not how I choose to operate. I feel like for me I’m on this team for a reason, this is where I’m at and until the things that are out of my control – until that decision’s made otherwise – I’ll be here focusing, doing everything I can do to help this team. I guess, to your point, can a guy go about that, yes, but that’s not the way I choose to operate in these situations."
McCown said he doesn't see that changing as he believes in doing his job and fulfilling the role asked of him. He admitted the uncertainty can be tough mentally and he said he's looking forward to getting out on the practice field.
"There’s people that are running the team that make those decisions, and I just believe in organizations in this business and the roles that everybody has," McCown said. "And my role is to go out and play as good a football as I can and to help the guys around me do that as well, and so that’ll be my focus. It’s tough when you have some of these things going on, have some of this noise going on, but it’s a great opportunity to just exercise mental focus and toughness and to be able to go out and do your job.
"So I’m looking forward to practice today, because it’s a good test of yourself, of how much you can block out the noise, because that’s what this job is about."
"I reconcile that in my mind through, I’ve said before, as a person of faith, 'hey this is the day right in front of me' ," he said. "I’m going to live that out as best I can and then move on to the next day, so I just believe God’s got the rest of that and that will sort itself out the way it’s supposed to and so that’s not always easy.
"It’s not always comfortable, but I think for me that’s the best because it relies me to lean on my faith, and in that I’ll find peace, and because of that I’ll be a better husband, father, teammate, all of those things," he said. "So that’s my (mindset) really is to go about it that way, because if it changes, it changes and I’ll attack that situation the same way I’ve done as I’ve been here, but my focus is being here, being on this team and helping us win.