Alex Tanney was my pet cat when he signed with the Dallas Cowboys back in 2013. Unfortunately, the Cleveland Browns poached him off of the practice squad and he never got a chance to develop with a star on his helmet.
Alex Tanney was praised by the Browns former GM, Michael Lombardi, who was responsible for poaching him. He said he looked great in camp, but he needed some time to adjust to the speed of the game at the NFL level.
The amusing part is, the Browns elected to keep Alex Tanney and cut Brandon Weeden. Norv Turner was the offensive coordinator at that time and has a reputation as one of the best in the league when it comes to developing quarterbacks. He too had nothing but good things to say about Tanney.
As fate would have it, a new owner stepped in and the entire coaching staff, along with general manager Michael Lombardi were replaced following only one season with the team. The new regime wanted to make a splash and drafted that train wreck named Johnny Manziel. This made Alex Tanney expendable and he was released. How did that work out?
Alex Tanney: Remember that guy the Cowboys scouts found playing at Monmouth College (Illinois)? The one they snatched up when the Chiefs waived him injured upon the arrival of veteran Alex Smith? He is among the top QBs in the league so far this preseason. He has completed 88.3% of his passes for 143 yards (11.9 ypc, not all short check-downs like the others), one TD and zero turnovers for a passer rating of 144.1; throwing to camp hands. The funny part is, Marcus Mariota is sitting on a pick, a fumble, zero TDs and a 78.4 passer rating throwing to starters as the 2nd overall pick in the draft.
I am the biggest Kellen Moore fan on the planet and that wont change, but in light of his recent injury, the Cowboys need a veteran presence in camp. Alex Tanney saw his first live action last year in the Titans final game of the season vs the Colts. They benched Zach Mettenberger (who was later cut) in the second half and brought in Tanney who performed very well. Despite playing behind a suspect offensive line that allowed him to be sacked 3 times in one half of football, Alex Tanney completed 10 of 14 passes (71.4%) for 99 yards and a TD for a passer rating of 114.9. Not bad for a guy that had minimal to no reps with the starters.
Upon releasing Mettenberger the Titans signed Matt Cassel, who completely bombed out in Dallas. The Titans used the 2nd overall pick in the draft on Marcus Mariota which left Alex Tanney out in the cold. The best he can hope for is to win the number two spot over Matt Cassel.
Alex Tanney is already familiar with the Cowboys offense, has excellent size and length for the position (6-4 228) and a rocket for an arm. As we all know, he has laser accuracy as well. Hell will freeze over before I trust either Dak Prescott or Jameil Showers to lead the Cowboys in the event Tony Romo gets injured before Kellen Moore comes back from injury.
Many have complained that Kellen Moore hasn’t had any legitimate competition in Dallas. There is nothing I would like more than to watch my two pet cats compete for the job. I have to give the edge to Moore because his football IQ and ability to see the field and get through his reads so fast and deliver an accurate pass goes pretty much unmatched. However, Tanney has the physical traits Moore is lacking.
The Cowboys have limited cap space and the pickens are slim out there right now. At this point, I believe Alex Tanney is the best available option for the Cowboys to fill the void at QB until Moore returns. At that point they can let them compete and may the best man win. Bringing in a guy who is already familiar with the Cowboys offense makes all the sense in the world. Especially when they wont have to break the bank to get him.