2001 Review: The Q-Car Era Begins in Dallas
Troy Aikman retired as expected in April 2001, one month after being released. The Cowboys signed free agent QB Tony Banks, who had previously played with St. Louis and Baltimore. That signing made sense.
Dallas had the #37 pick overall in the draft. Everyone knew Dallas needed a quarterback. Purdue’s Drew Brees played in Austin and was considered to be the second-best quarterback in the draft behind Michael Vick. It’s hard to believe the Cowboys couldn’t have traded up six spots to grab him right before the Chargers, who got him with the first pick of the second round (#32 overall).
Instead, Dallas traded its second round pick (#37 overall) to Indianapolis for a second (#52 overall) and a third (#81 overall). Then Dallas traded the pick it acquired from Indianapolis to Miami for its second (#56) and a fourth (#122). Finally, Dallas traded a second (#56) and a third (#81) to New Orleans for a second (#53) that it used to pick…
Quincy Carter of Georgia, whom most experts thought would go somewhere between the third to fifth round. The concern about Carter? He completed less than half of his passes during his junior season, which is not good.
Dallas acquired another second-round pick and took Alabama safety Tony Dixon, who had the size to match Darren Woodson but had barely an ounce of skill.
Here’s the rest of the 2001 draft for the Cowboys:
2(53) Quincy Carter, QB, Georgia
2(56) Tony Dixon, DB, Alabama
3(93) Willie Blade, DT, Mississippi State
4(122) Markus Steele, LB, USC
5(137) Matt Lehr, C, Virginia Tech
6(171) Daleroy Stewart, DT, Southern Miss
7(207) Colston Weatherington, DE, Central Missouri St.
7(240) John Nix, DT, Southern Miss
7(242) Char-ron Dorsey, T, Florida State
Rather surprisingly, every player in the draft played for the Cowboys at some point. Moreover, some even became starters for a year or two. Probably the best player of the group was Lehr, who eventually became a starter for a couple of years in Atlanta.
Carter was something of the poor-man’s version of Michael Vick. Carter was athletic and could make plays with his feet. However, he shouldn’t have been thrown in to start as a rookie, but when Dallas released Banks during training camp, Carter became the starter. Q-Car only played in half the games in 2001, and the Cowboys eventually had to start four different quarterbacks during 2001 season.
Granted, Carter had his moments, especially in 2003 when he led Dallas to a 10-6 record. Dallas, though, let him go during training camp in 2004. The only players on the list who lasted longer than Carter were Lehr and Dixon, and both of them were gone after the 2004 season.