USFL quarterbacks Case Cookus (Philadelphia Stars) and J’Mar Smith (Birmingham Stallions) last faced off in the USFL Championship game in Canton, Ohio in July, but on Tuesday Cookus and Smith were among the three quarterbacks working out for the Dallas Cowboys at their Frisco, Texas headquarters according to the NFL’s transaction wire.
Cookus, Smith, and former Eagles, Dolphins, and Buccaneers quarterback Reid Sinnett displayed their skills to the Cowboys along with wide receivers Reggie Roberson, Ra’Shaun Henry and John Hightower and linebacker Charles Snowden.
In some instances, quarterbacks are brought in on tryouts to throw passes to receivers that teams are interested in getting looks at. This instance appears to be legitimate interest in bringing in one of the three quarterbacks to their practice squad after the Cowboys will be without starting quarterback Dak Prescott for multiple weeks.
Cooper Rush takes over as Dallas’ starting quarterback with Prescott out an practice squad passer Will Grier becomes the primary backup quarterback. Last season Dallas also had Ben DiNucci as their fourth quarterback on their practice squad, but DiNucci was not signed after final cuts and the Cowboys have just three quarterbacks on their payroll.
While Cowboys COO Stephen Jones thinks Dak Prescott could return in 2-3 weeks from surgery for a fractured right thumb, the timeline according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero is more likely 4-6 weeks.
Cookus is also returning from a leg injury that caused the passer to not get any camp invites following the USFL season. During the late minutes of the USFL championship game Cookus broke his fibula while Stallions’ quarterback J’Mar Smith also sat out with a minor injury. As part of a typical tryout, Cookus would undergo a medical evaluation by the Cowboys’ medical staff.
Interestingly the Cowboys did not invite DiNucci or former Dallas passer Garrett Gilbert for a tryout, but both free agent quarterbacks may still be options if Dallas doesn’t sign one of the three passers who tried out with the team on Tuesday. Gilbert was among the four quarterbacks to work out for the 49ers on Monday but was not signed to the teams’ practice squad.
Smith and Cookus both were drafted as backup quarterbacks by their respective teams and ended up leading their respective franchises to the USFL Championship game. Cookus finished second in the league with 12 passing touchdowns and Smith third with ten touchdowns.
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