Josh Dobbs’ previous links to Arizona Cardinals: By the numbers

Aug 24, 2023, 4:24 PM | Updated: 5:51 pm

Joshua Dobbs #15 of the Cleveland Browns reacts after being sacked during the first half of a prese...

Joshua Dobbs #15 of the Cleveland Browns reacts after being sacked during the first half of a preseason game against the Washington Commanders at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 11, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

It’s not often that a NFL team acquires a quarterback in late August that has a chance to start. But that applies right now to the Arizona Cardinals after they traded for quarterback Josh Dobbs on Thursday. Dobbs was brought in from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a fifth-round pick, with Cleveland sending a seventh rounder back to Arizona as well.

As the wait continues for more information regarding a potential return date for the injured Kyler Murray, speculation has been constant surrounding the chance that 2023 fifth-round pick Clayton Tune potentially beats out backup Colt McCoy for the job. The duo split first-team duties in open practice on Thursday.

But how much of a chance does Dobbs have to start? Here are some numbers to let you decide while we go, by the numbers:


Dobbs was signed by the Browns in April 2022 for his first stint with Cleveland. He went on to spend 233 days with the Browns until getting cut in late November when Deshaun Watson returned form suspension. This is relevant because the quarterbacks coach was current Cardinals OC Drew Petzing. While Petzing was hired by Arizona in February and some of his system has surely changed, Dobbs has spent more time than McCoy or Tune with Petzing.


Dobbs has two career starts over his six years in the NFL and it was the final two games of last season for the Tennessee Titans. Starter Ryan Tannehill was injured and rookie Malik Willis hadn’t been playing well in Tannehill’s place. Those two games were watched closely by Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort, who was Tennessee’s director of player personnel.


If Dobbs rings a bell, it’s likely because the last of those two starts was in Jacksonville for Week 18, a game that determined who would make the playoffs. Tennessee actually led by three with 3:02 to go, but on 3rd-and-6, Dobbs was hit as he threw on what was called a fumble and the ball was returned by the Jaguars for the game-winning touchdown. A replay review later confirmed it was a fumble but Dobbs still believed later it was a forward pass.


Despite being on a NFL roster in some capacity for much of the last six years, Dobbs has only attempted 85 total passes, with 68 of those coming in those aforementioned starts with the Titans.


There isn’t enough of a sample size for Dobbs at the pro level to grade how his ground game translates but the quarterback rushed for 31 total touchdowns in his last three collegiate seasons for the Tennessee Volunteers. Across four seasons he ran for 2,160 yards.


A large proving point for Dobbs will be escaping the third-string spot. In Pittsburgh, he was behind Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones before Mason Rudolph won the backup spot over Dobbs prior to his move to Jacksonville. That move was made by the Jaguars because starter Nick Foles was hurt, requiring a new backup after Gardner Minshew stepped up. This year with the Browns, Dobbs’ departure ultimately means Cleveland felt comfortable with fifth-round pick Dorian Thompson-Robinson backing up Watson.


Dobbs has struggled to find a home. Arizona will be his sixth NFL team after two separate stints with both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Browns, a year with the Titans and Jaguars, plus a brief stay on the Detroit Lions practice squad.

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Josh Dobbs’ previous links to Arizona Cardinals: By the numbers