Everything You Need To Know About Rookie QB Mike White
The Cowboys selected quarterback Mike White from Western Kentucky in the 5th Round of the 2018 NFL Draft (#171 overall). Here are “5 Things to Know” about the rookie 5th rounder:
James D. Smith
He’ll Compete With Cooper Rush To Be Dak Prescott’s Backup
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters after the draft that he has no plans to bring in a veteran quarterback to be Dak Prescott’s backup, so that means White will compete with second-year player Cooper Rush to be the #2 quarterback on the depth chart.
Rush, who was an undrafted rookie last year, was one of the big surprises of training camp and preseason. Rush threw 6 touchdown passes in preseason action last summer, and no interceptions, and surprisingly won a spot on the 53-man roster. Rush eventually took over for veteran Kellen Moore as the #2 QB behind Dak. Rush only threw 3 regular season passes, however, so he’s still very inexperienced.
If White and Rush show good stuff, the Cowboys will have a very, very young QB depth chart. After all, Dak Prescott is the established starter and franchise quarterback, but Dak is only entering his third NFL season. Right now, the Cowboys depth chart at QB is: Dak Prescott as the starter, Cooper Rush as the backup, and Mike White as the third quarterback.
James D. Smith
Can White Force The Cowboys To Keep 3 QBs On The 53-Man Roster?
Because NFL teams are only allowed to keep 53-men on the final roster, a lot of teams keep only two quarterbacks, plus a younger QB on the practice squad.
Can White play well enough in camp and preseason to force the Cowboys to keep 3 QBs? If the Cowboys were to waive White after Training Camp during roster cut-downs, another NFL team could claim him and put him on their roster.
It’s always a tricky thing for an NFL team to waive a young QB and hope to re-sign him to their own practice squad. White needs to make a strong impression so that the Cowboys don’t take a chance by waiving him. That’s what happened for Cooper Rush last year: Rush played so well in preseason that the Cowboys knew they would lose him to another team if they waived him.
It’s not unheard of the Cowboys to keep 3 QBs. They did so in 2016 when veteran Mark Sanchez was on the roster along with Tony Romo and Dak Prescott. When Romo got hurt in preseason, Prescott became the starter as a rookie.
White Had A Connection With Cowboys QB Coach Kellen Moore
White’s head coach at Western Kentucky, Mike Sanford, has a special bond with Cowboys QBs coach Kellen Moore. Both are former Boise State quarterbacks. Sanford asked Moore to help White when White was learning the offense at Western Kentucky.
James D. Smith
Moore and White would talk on the phone and go over the offense.
“The offensive structure that we run here at Western, that he (Mike White) ran in 2017, has a lot of similarities to what the Dallas Cowboys run,” Sanford told WBKO television. The beautiful thing about it all is Kellen can speak our language perfectly, our verbiage. So Mike White and he will be on the same page from Day One in terms of defensive identification, how you call routes, and almost be a translator into the system they’re running at the Dallas Cowboys.”
Mark Humphrey via AP
White’s High School & College Experience
White grew up in Florida and was a star baseball player in Fort Lauderdale. He didn’t become the starting quarterback in high school until his senior year because he was concentrating on being a baseball pitcher. But he was named his state’s player of the year in football as a senior and earned a scholarship to University of South Florida.
White started five games at USF as a freshman and was named the full-time starter as a sophomore. But the USF coaching staff’s decision to change to a spread offense led White to transfer to Western Kentucky. He had to sit out a season because of the NCAA’s transfer rules. But when he finally got to play, he lit it up. In two seasons at Western Kentucky, he threw 63 TD passes and completed 65% of his passes. His career passer rating at Western Kentucky was an eye-popping 142.9 (yes, that’s really high!).
He’s got the prototypical build for an NFL quarterback (6-5, 225) and has a strong arm. He and Mason Rudolph of Oklahoma State were the only two QBs in FBS to throw for 4,000+ passing yards in each of the last two seasons.
James D. Smith
White Has Already Signed On The Dotted Line
White signed his contract with the Cowboys as Rookie Camp was getting underway this past weekend. His 4-year deal worth $2.678 million includes a guaranteed signing bonus of $217,553. His average salary is $669,388 if he makes the 53-man roster.
Good thing he has that signing bonus. Now he can pay for the engagement ring he recently bought his fiancée!