Could QB Gardner Minshew land with the Dallas Cowboys?

Quarterback Gardner Minshew #15 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Imagn Images photo pool)
Quarterback Gardner Minshew #15 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Imagn Images photo pool) /

Could (and should) the Jacksonville Jaguars trade second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew to the Dallas Cowboys? 

Rookie Trevor Lawrence has been as good as advertised, and it looks like he’s the answer to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback woes. In fact, it might be a matter of time before head coach Urban Meyer names him the starter. This would leave Gardner Minshew as the primary back even though he’s had a solid training camp as well.

The 2019 sixth-round selection has previously said that he would like to compete for a starting job but that may not be possible in Jacksonville. Lawrence is set to be the Jaguars’ quarterback of the future, so Minshew would have to wait until his rookie contract expires in 2023. Another alternative would be to request a trade. Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report believes the Dallas Cowboys would be a potential landing spot if the Jags were interested in shopping the former Cougar.

Sobleski recently drew up a list of trades every NFL team should make before the start of the 2021 NFL season, and he suggests the Jaguars send Minshew to the Cowboys. He doesn’t say what kind of compensation Jacksonville should get but points out that having C.J. Beathard on the roster makes Minshew unnecessary.

Why would the Cowboys want to acquire Gardner Minshew?

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a shoulder strain at the end of July but he expects to return for the season opener. Although he’s resumed throwing, Dallas will likely proceed with caution. Also, Big D doesn’t have the same kind of depth the Jaguars possess, which is something that Sobleski acknowledges.

"The Cowboys don’t have the same kind of depth at quarterback. Andy Dalton signed with the Chicago Bears. Dallas is left with Garrett Gilbert, Ben DiNucci and Cooper Rush as their backup options behind Dak Prescott. Minshew would be an upgrade if Prescott were to get hurt again (hopefully not)."

There’s a lot to unpack here. The Cowboys could indeed trade for Minshew if Prescott has to miss a significant amount of playing time. However, it looks like they will stay put for the time being and will roll with Ben DiNucci as their primary backup. Nevertheless, things can suddenly change, as every quarterback — and any NFL player for that matter — is one injury away from being unable to play.

Should the Jacksonville Jaguars trade Gardner Minshew?

The short answer is no. The Jaguars are better off keeping Minshew. He’s a luxury other teams would love to have. Besides being named one of the top backup quarterbacks in the NFL, he’s still in his rookie year. Teams inquired about Minshew’s availability before the draft, and it’s possible that there’s still some level of interest in his services.

Nevertheless, the Jaguars shouldn’t trade him unless they can fetch a high draft pick or a staring-caliber player for him. You could argue that the third-year quarterback may not be worth more than a late-round selection but the demand for competent signal-callers outweighs the supply. Also, if a club loses its starting quarterback to injury, the Jags could ask for premium compensation.

Minshew will continue to be involved in trade talks because he showed he can start. That doesn’t mean the Jaguars should shop him. Still, they should listen to any potential offers. Who knows? Maybe someone offers them an early-round pick if they get desperate enough.

dark. Next. Jaguars 53-man roster projection: Preseason edition