- The Washington Times
Monday, September 12, 2022

For the sixth straight season, an NFL team has an injury at quarterback, and Colin Kaepernick’s name is floated as a potential replacement.

This year, the team is the Dallas Cowboys, and the person floating Kaepernick as Dak Prescott’s temporary replacement is ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

“It will never happen, in my opinion. But you might want to make that call to Colin Kaepernick. Might want to take that chance [and] find out. He hasn’t been around, but he’s a playmaker with his legs.”

Kaepernick hasn’t played a down of professional football since the end of the 2016 season — the year in which he was surrounded by controversy after kneeling during the national anthem. Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid reached a settlement with the NFL in 2019 after the two players alleged the 32 owners colluded to keep them out of the league.  

Kaepernick, 34, spent this past offseason working out with wide receivers and giving interviews about his interest to be on an NFL roster, even as a backup.

“I can help make you a better team, I can help you win games,” Kaepernick told WXYZ Detroit in the spring. “I know right now the situation likely won’t allow me to come in, step into a starting role. I know I’ll be able to work my way to that though and show that very quickly.”

Smith said he doesn’t believe Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will even entertain the idea of signing Kaepernick, though. 

“Now, I don’t think it will ever happen. But this is the state of Texas. You see what I’m saying?” Smith said while speaking with a faux southern accent. “Patriotic individuals that they pride themselves on being, since the whole Kaepernick narrative was hijacked. And Jerry Jones isn’t going to let that get in the way of business.”

Michael Irvin, Smith’s fellow co-host on ESPN’s “First Take,” disagreed because Kaepernick has been “out of football” for too long. Irvin said he would rather stick with backup Cooper Rush to replace Prescott, who fractured his thumb on Sunday and will reportedly be out for six-to-eight weeks.

“Let’s stop with this Colin Kaepernick stuff. Let’s just stop,” said the former Cowboys wideout. “Colin Kaepernick’s been out of football for, what, five years now? Come on, man. Let’s stop all of a sudden thinking we can go resurrect Colin Kaepernick and he’s going to come and resurrect a football team. I’ll take my chances with Cooper Rush.”

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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