Dak Prescott cemented his status as the Dallas Cowboys’ long-term QB1, but backup competition is ongoing behind the face of the franchise. The Cowboys also have Cooper Rush, Will Grier and Ben DiNucci battling for a roster spot during training camp.
The Cowboys clearly won’t be able to have four quarterbacks on the active roster, and it remains to be seen if Dallas will keep three flaggers. Before training camp, former Cowboys scout Bryan Broaddus and team insider Bobby Belt made their predictions for the final roster of 53 players. Belt thinks Grier won’t make the final roster, predicting the Cowboys will only keep two quarterbacks: Prescott and DiNucci.
“Starting with the quarterbacks, I think [the Cowboys only keep] Cooper Rush and Dak Prescott,” Belt explained during a July 26 episode of the “Love of the Star” podcast. “Now they carried Will Grier at times last year. They’ve had three at a time, and Mike McCarthy is a quarterback.
“But I think there will be just a few areas [positions where cuts need to be made], especially assuming you’re going to have to keep Michael Gallup for a few weeks without him on the PUP. You’re just going to have to make a sacrifice somewhere, and that’s probably the quarterback. Just my own opinion.
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Grier flashed during training camp
To be clear, Belt’s prediction was made before training camp began, and a strong preseason from Grier could make a tough call for Dallas. The Cowboys could release Grier and DiNucci only to re-sign one of the quarterbacks to the practice squad if they are not claimed by another team via waivers.
“I think in the league the teams appreciated having the flexibility to be able to do that. [keep veterans on the practice squad during COVID]replied Broaddus. “Ben DiNucci, Will Grier, one of these guys is going to end up on your practice squad, probably as the third guy.”
Rush is the favorite to win the Cowboys backup QB job
So far, everything points to Grier doing everything in his power to pressure the Cowboys about his future. Dallas 97.1 The Eagle’s Jeff Cavanaugh noted that Grier had a “solid camp”. WFAA’s Mike Leslie explained why Rush headed to training camp with the upper hand while adding that Grier is making a save point run.
“Cooper Rush winning a game for the Cowboys on one-time duty last year is a very big feather in his cap, and makes him tough to topple as a backup quarterback for the Cowboys,” Leslie tweeted July 29. “But Will Grier has done some great things early in this camp, which makes him an intriguing guy to watch.”
Grier was once projected as a first-round pick
During his final college season at West Virginia, Pro Football Focus predicted Grier would be selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Ultimately, the Panthers drafted Grier in the third round with the No. 100 pick. in total.
The Cowboys successfully claimed Grier waivers on September 1, 2021 after he was released by the Panthers. Before the draft, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler had Grier as his No. 5-ranked quarterback prospect, believing the signalman had enough tools to eventually fight for a starting job.
“Overall, Grier has trouble identifying/feeling pressures and his inconsistent decision-making is a concern, but he’s a natural rhythm setter and once he finds that rhythm he can be deadly, projecting himself as an NFL quarterback worthy of competing for a starting job,” Brugler wrote in his 2019 draft guide.
Rush has plenty of momentum to be the team’s QB2 after leading the Cowboys to a win on Oct. 31 last season when Prescott was sidelined with a calf injury. Time will tell if Grier’s play during training camp will be enough to secure the reserve spot behind Prescott.
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