That's right, if you're asking us which quarterback we'd like to see added to the mix next season at Valley Ranch, it's none other than Ray Lucas. Here's our top 5 reasons Lucas should be wearing a Cowboys' uniform next season, instead of Brian Griese.
5. There's familiarity with Parcells.
Ray Lucas has worked with Bill Parcells before with the New York Jets and the two have already established a certain amount of success with the season on the line.
He also has a proven track record of helping losing teams learn how to win. He took over the starting QB position and led the Jets to an 8-8 finish after a 1-6 start back in 1999.
His mindset also parallels that of Bill Parcells. He likes to get his hands dirty with the offense and will his team to victory, doing all of the little things to help give him an edge over the opposing team.
Meanwhile Brian Griese has always led the controversy parade in the Mile High City, never quite living up to expectations in the eyes of the coaches and the fans.
"Sometimes a situation just doesn't work out," Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan said in his first public remarks about his decision to replace Griese few weeks ago.
The fact of the matter is that Griese and Shanahan just haven't seen eye-to-eye on numerous issues. Aside from his on the field performance in the last two seasons, there other many other factors that have led to his lack of support in Denver.
4. Does Griese = Hutchinson?
The Cowboys already have a young gunslinger in Chad Hutchinson. If Brian Griese came to Valley Ranch, the Cowboys would effectively have two quarterbacks that appear to be somewhat identical. Ray Lucas brings a different set of skills to the table, including both on the field and off.
Lucas, besides being accurate and mobile, would instantly become a leader for the Cowboys offense should he see the field. He also could provide some much-needed veteran instruction to Chad Hutchinson from a mental standpoint.
Griese, who actually did have a pro-bowl year back in 2000, still doesn't have his mental game together enough to come in and provide help to the Cowboys' offense.
3. What about mobility?
Ray Lucas has the ability to improvise once a play breaks down, and as we've seen over the course of the last two years, the Cowboys' offensive line tends to allow this to happen more often than not.
Hutchinson is a tall, prototypical, drop back passer while Lucas is a scrambler, and improviser, and a playmaker. If he can't get the job done with his arm, he has the ability to do damage with his feet.
The Cowboys have longed for such a combination since the demise of Quincy Carter at the midway point of the 2002 season. Unfortunately, Carter has left himself out of the starting quarterback equation this year.
Lucas provides a nice compliment should the former Stanford star and St. Louis Cardinal hit another cold streak next season, while Griese is just an extension of some of the same problems we should expect from a quarterback in only his second season on the job.
2. Griese simply isn't the answer.
While Brian Griese has flourished during some years in Denver, the fact of the matter is that he just can't effectively get the ball downfield. With the Cowboys current stable of wide receivers, having excellent touch on the long ball, and the deep crossing pattern is an absolute must.
Simply put, Brian Griese doesn't get the job done in that department. Last season, the former Michigan star threw 15 touchdowns to go along with 15 interceptions. In fact, only one year in his 5-year stint with the Denver Broncos did Griese threw 4 or more touchdown passes than interceptions, and that came during his pro-bowl season of 2000.
His mechanics are inconsistent as well, and the Cowboys just don't need that in their offense right now with question marks on the O-line and also in the offensive backfield.
And remember, Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan is one of the offensive masterminds of our day. He led the Broncos to consecutive world championships in John Elway's last two seasons.
He's also the one that wants Griese out of Denver- and for Jake Plummer of all people.
1. The Cowboys don't need a starter.
As crazy as that might sound, the Dallas Cowboys aren't looking for a starting quarterback should their final decision come down to these two.
That's right, Chad Hutchinson is still perceived as the starting quarterback of the future for this club, and he'll be given the opportunity this season to prove his worth. That being said, the Cowboys would like a veteran quarterback that could come in and provide relief should the situation warrant.
Brian Griese has been the starting quarterback in Denver since the retirement of John Elway, and he won't be coming to Dallas to sit on the bench. Ray Lucas has been both a back up and a starter throughout his career, so it makes sense that he would be coming to Dallas with the proper mindset.
Lucas comes to Dallas and he helps the team, and Chad Hutchinson, in any way he can. If he's thrusted into the starting position so be it. If not, well then that's fine too.
If the Cowboys are truly looking for a starting quarterback for 2003, then they should look no further than the New York Jets and back up quarterback Vinny Testaverde.
5 Reasons the Cowboys Should Sign...
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