Mark Sanchez Cowboys: Dallas Signs Former USC Star To Backup Dak Prescott

The Dallas Cowboys were dealt some tough news when Tony Romo was injured during the team’s third preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Romo will miss six to 10 weeks with a broken bone in his back, forcing the Cowboys to turn to rookie Dak Prescott as the team’s starting quarterback to begin the 2016 season.

With Prescott moving into the starting role, the Cowboys have spent the last week trying to find a quarterback fill the backup role until Romo returns. The team signed Jerrod Johnson on Thursday after he was released by the Baltimore Ravens, but the Cowboys made the decision to release him on Saturday.

Dallas also gave Jameill Showers an opportunity to earn the job by allowing him to play the entire game against the Houston Texans on Thursday night. Unfortunately, Showers only completed 10 of 25 passes for 91 yards with a touchdown and an interception against the Texans’ second and third-string defenses.

After seeing Showers struggle, the Cowboys knew that they would have to add another option at the position and that someone is Mark Sanchez. On Saturday, the Denver Broncos released Sanchez after a disappointing training camp and preseason with the team. With Trevor Siemian winning the starting job and Paxton Lynch backing him up, the Broncos decided to save money and a conditional draft pick by releasing Sanchez.

Originally, the Broncos hoped that Sanchez would be the replacement for Peyton Manning, who retired this offseason, but the former first-round pick only completed 20 of 30 passes for 219 yards and one touchdown while turning the ball over three times this preseason. With the progression of Siemian, it made it an easy decision for John Elway to cut ties with Sanchez.

This is just the latest setback for Mark Sanchez since being drafted by the New York Jets with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. After leading the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons, Sanchez’s career has gone completely downhill as the Cowboys will be his fourth team in the last three seasons

In 75 career games, Sanchez has thrown 86 touchdowns, 84 interceptions, and fumbled 30 times as turnovers have been the biggest culprit in his struggles. From the Cowboys’ perspective, the team hopes that Sanchez will never have to see the field. As long as Prescott performs and stays healthy, Sanchez’s tenure with the Cowboys will only last as long as Romo is out.

One other interesting aspect of this signing comes from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who is reporting that the Cowboys could be in some hot water surrounding the circumstances of the signing of Sanchez. According to his report, Dallas reportedly signed Sanchez before news of his release had been communicated to all 32 NFL teams.

The situation would be a violation of the tampering rules because Mark Sanchez was technically still the property of the Denver Broncos when the Cowboys negotiated and signed him to a contract. The NFL typically doesn’t pursue tampering violations very hard because they’re hard to prove, but this one seems rather obvious and could cost the Cowboys a fine, draft pick, or some other punishment.

While we’ll have to wait and see how the NFL handles the potential tampering violation, one thing is for sure: Mark Sanchez will open the season as the Cowboys’ backup quarterback. If you’re a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, you might want to start praying for the health of Dak Prescott, as it could be a rough year if Sanchez has to see the field.

[Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images]