Standing 6-foot-3, 220 pounds Stephen McGee looks like he was sent from Hollywood central casting to play the part of "quarterback" in the new Friday Night Lights movie, which was once a TV show, which was once a movie, which was once a book.
If you can look the part (Richard Bartel), and know the right people (Chase Daniel), you can make a six-figure check bouncing around the NFL for years (Tommy Maddox).
[ Quiz: What is the link between Bartel, Daniel, Maddox and McGee? Answer at the bottom. ]
This may be the best course of action for the former Texas A&M quarterback, who for years all we heard was he was screwed up because of Dennis Franchione, his college coach. Perhaps the Fran haters are right - if McGee was in a pro style offense in College Station he would have flourished.
But after a few opportunities both in the preseason and regular season with the Cowboys it should be rather apparent that the instinct, confidence and fluidity required to thrive at this position are lacking. This does not mean McGee can't make a big check in the NFL for a long time (see above names). But it does mean that this current staff with the Cowboys has moved on.
There is no greater sign of that than the Cowboys' signing of veteran Kyle Orton to replace the retired Jon Kitna to backup Tony Romo.
Orton is your perfect NFL career backup: He can not hurt you for about five games, and may win more than he loses. Anything after that is not on him. Just as there is a good reason why he is on now his fourth team, there is equal reason why he has been in the league since 2005.
As for McGee? He has more year left on the contract he signed as a rookie. Whatever time he gets in preseason he best make the most of it, be a pro, and hope he has a few friends when he is not re-signed.
[ ANSWER TO QUIZ: The link between Bartel, Daniel, Maddox and McGee? All four are from Texas and played high school ball here. ]
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