And while most fans were surprised to see Dallas use such a high pick on what many experts considered to be a 3rd or 4th round choice at best, his performance last year, especially at the end of the season left Cowboy fans wanting to see more of the young quarterback.
|Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hands over the #17 jersey to Quincy Carter on draft day 2001. For the first time since drafting Troy Aikman and Steve Walsh in 1989, the Cowboys used their top pick on a quarterback.|
Carter is a natural athlete, and he has all the tools to succeed in this league. He's got speed, a strong arm, and the right attitude to improve his accuracy and overall performance.
And when you think about last season, it could very well be considered to be a blessing in disguise, because he was able to start 8 games without getting his confidence completely destroyed.
Certainly, many people believed that drafting Carter was a mistake, as he and the Cowboys stumbled out of the gates with tough losses against Tampa Bay, San Diego, Philadelphia, and Oakland. And while he started the year off slowly, he used a little coaching from Cowboys' Quarterback Coach Wade Wilson to begin his late season turnaround.
He went back to the basics, learning how to properly take a snap under center. Wilson then turned his attention to his footwork, drop-backs, and throwing motion, and the end result was nothing short of brilliant.
Carter earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance in a 27-21 victory over the San Francisco 49ers while completing 15 of 25 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns. He was the first Cowboys player to win the weekly award in more than two years.
"What I keep saying about Quincy is whatever it does take, he's going to do it. The kid really wants to be good," said Wilson after he started seeing significant improvement in Carter's game.
And you could tell that his confidence level was high towards the end of the season. He was making strong throws and distributing the football to all parts of the field with ease. More importantly, he was also gaining the respect of Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones.
"Quincy is ahead of my expectations, and I have a habit of thinking big," Jones said. "We think Quincy is developing. We know he's going to make some mistakes because of his inexperience, but he's doing a good job."
Let's not fool ourselves just yet though, Quincy Carter still has some work to do if he is going to retain the starting quarterback position next year, especially since the Cowboys signed free agent quarterback Chad Hutchinson. But the kid works harder than almost any other quarterback in the league, and he has the skills, the heart, and the desire to compete at a very high level.
One thing is for sure, he'll be ready for the challenge in 2002, and we'll be ready to watch him.