Can Hutchinson Ever Overtake Quincy Carter?

Chad Hutchinson, fresh off of signing a 7-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys, has looked impressive over the course of the last few days at Valley Ranch, but is it enough to eventually overtake starting quarterback Quincy Carter?

Let's face it, if you are a serious Cowboys' fan like I am, you were likely surprised that January morning when you woke up to find Jerry Jones talking about signing another quarterback to a long term deal.

And sure enough, only days later, he did it. The Cowboys agreed to terms with former Stanford QB Chad Hutchinson on January 26th, and ever since then, almost every sports writer in the country covering the NFL has had something say about it.

Even Jerry himself addressed the situation at the news conference announcing the deal. "This should in no way be construed as a statement about Quincy Carter. Quincy is, at this point, the head of the pack."

Certainly, locking down a quarterback to a 7-year deal implies that you are making some sort of commitment to him, right?

Usually the answer to that question would be an emphatic yes, but under these circumstances- absolutely not.

Jerry Jones speaks to the media with former Stanford QB Chad Hutchinson after the news conference announcing Hutchinson's signing with the Cowboys.
Hutchinson is only gauranteed $4 million over the first 3 years of his contract, at which time Dallas will have the opportunity to void it, pending his performance. In other words, Jerry was able to snag a potential first round draft pick for almost pennies on the dollar.

"Chad is an outstanding prospect and had he finished his career at Stanford, he would have had all the attributes of a first-round pick, " said Jones. "We know that you can't usually make it through any season with just one quarterback – you need more than one."

Now that brings us to the tricky part.

You see, no one expects Hutchinson to do anything his first year wearing a Cowboys' uniform, simply because he has spent the last 4 years playing professional baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Surely he can't come in a compete with Quincy Carter right away. Right?

Wrong. He can compete with Quincy because he has all the physical tools to do it. Watching him over the course of the last few days has certainly proven this theory. Hutchinson has as strong an arm as I've ever seen on an athlete in person, and he has a certain calmness about him that makes you believe he can handle clutch situations with the utmost of ease.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying that Hutchinson will beat out Quincy Carter in training camp, or even during the regular season. But I do think that if Quincy were injured, or needed some relief, the Cowboys would be good hands. And once Hutchinson proves his worth on the NFL playing field, then you'll have a quarterback controversy on your hands.

"I don't think it's going to be an immediate competition, because we feel like Hutchinson will need maybe two seasons to get back to where he was," Jerry Jones said. "We still go training camp with Quincy as the starter. It would be asking way too much for him to actually compete for a role this season, Chad's value to us will be as a future project."

Make no mistake about it, Jerry Jones is clearly seeing the big picture, and all he has done is put this franchise in a position to be successful no matter what happens in terms of injuries or growing pains. He has two outstanding young quarterbacks being led by one of the top offensive coordinators in the game today in Bruce Coslet, not to mention a nice mix of talented skill position players to complement them.

Furthermore, having two solid quarterbacks will make the Cowboys' offense that much better in the long run. Whether its the competetion between the two, or the second team getting more realistic looks in practice- everyone benefits.

Without a doubt, Quincy Carter is the quarterback of the future with this team. He has a great head on his shoulders, a strong arm, and excellent mobility. But before it's all said and done, Chad Hutchinson is going to win some ball games for the Dallas Cowboys- just watch.

It may not be this year, but his time will come.

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