It’s not often that a trade involving the Washington Redskins excites Big Country football fans.
But it may now.
For four seasons, former Jim Ned High School standout Colt McCoy has played for the Redskins. Mostly a backup to starters to Kirk Cousins and then Alex Smith, McCoy has made occasional starts. One was memorable, a 20-17 win over the Cowboys in Dallas in 2014.
He played in three games last season, taking over for Smith after he broke a leg. McCoy then broke his leg against the Eagles on Dec. 4 and missed the rest of the season.
Now, after a trade with the Denver Broncos, the Redskins are bringing aboard Case Keenum, the one-time Abilene Wylie High School standout who led the Bulldogs to the 2004 Class 3A state title.
Keenum in 2017 came off the bench to lead the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC title game, then signed with Denver.
He started all 16 games in 2018, completing 62 percent of his passes for 3,890 yards. But the Broncos were 6-10 and missed the playoffs. That led to signing castoff Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
Keenum’s future in Denver, after one season, was in doubt, and his next stop will be Washington. He also has played for the Houston Texans and both versions of the Rams, first in St. Louis and then in Los Angeles.
He starred at the University of Houston, setting records for the Cougars including throwing for 19,217 yards, which is the all-time NCAA mark.
McCoy won a record 45 games at the University of Texas at Austin from 2006-09, and was the 2008 Heisman Trophy runner-up.
They now may be competing for the starting job in Washington.
The prospect of two largely backup quarterbacks battling to start has not been met with excitement from Redskins fans. Their combined NFL win-loss record is 33-48.
One social media commenter said there can only be one winner in this situation, and it’s not the Redskins.
But for those in the Abilene area who followed stellar high school and college careers by McCoy and Keenum, it’s a homegrown battle.
Interest in the Redskins in Dallas Cowboys country has been tested before. Former Abilene Cooper player Terry Orr was a tight end for Washington from 1986 to 1993.
If indeed a Keenum and McCoy battle materializes, local interest in the Cowboys’ most traditional rival will be heightened again.