Browns quarterback Josh McCown is trying to stay in the moment.
For many athletes, such a statement is cliché, but for McCown it is a way of life.
On Thursday, McCown acknowledged that he is aware of the Dallas Cowboys interest in him but he’s remaining focused on his role with the Browns – be it starter or backup.
“As much as you try not to be aware of things, they make you aware of things,” McCown said referencing family members who have been in contact with him recently about the rumors. “I’m aware of it but my focus remains here and what we have to do with this football team.”
Because McCown hails from Texas, the Cowboys seem to be the perfect fit.
“My job and my heart is here and doing everything I can to help the Cleveland Browns be good,” McCown said.
Trading McCown for anything other than a top-4 round pick doesn’t seem to make much sense considering the Browns’ history of needing at least 3 starters just to get through a season, questions surrounding RG3’s health and longevity as well as McCown’s leadership, experience and professionalism.
“The guy’s played a lot of games, made a lot of starts and won a lot of games,” right guard John Greco said. “So he has tremendous value, and I think he’s one of the leaders, so having him the locker room is a great thing. But with that aside, that’s the business end of it, so I can just only hope he’s with us.”
The Cowboys are in the market for a backup to Tony Romo after Kellen Moore sustained a broken fibula. Nick Foles just signed with the Chiefs which has vaulted McCown up the wish list board for Dallas.
McCown has spoken with the Browns front office about the situation and although he declined to give any specifics, he did say that they both “are on the same page.”
“It’s tough when you have some of these things going on,” McCown said. “It’s a great opportunity to just exercise mental focus and toughness and to be able to go out and do your job, so I’m looking forward to practice today.”
So why not force the Browns hand?
“That’s not how I choose to operate,” McCown said.
McCown is trying to become just the fifth of the 24 starting QBs to get the call on back-to-back opening days.
He is “competing” with Robert Griffin III for the Browns starting job during camp but it’s been presumed that RG3 will win it, regardless of what McCown does. The differential in first-team reps between them hasn’t changed that perception.
“No matter what the reps are, what everything is, we just come out and compete and push one another,” McCown said. “I don’t get into trying to figure out who’s where and what. that doesn’t do any good, and like I told you guys before, I’m about, we’re all about helping each other and helping each other play at a high level.”