Former Eagles QB May Be Forced into Action for Cowboys

Clayton Thorson

Getty Clayton Thorson

Could the “Clayton Thorson Bowl” join the pantheon of great Cowboys-Eagles rivalry games? It could be right up there with the “Bounty Bowl” and “Pickle Juice Game.”

Obviously, the chances of Thorson being called up — let alone actually playing on Sunday — remain remote. However, there is a very unlikely scenario where Dallas may be forced to throw Thorson on the field in the biggest game of the year.

Thorson, of course, was the fifth-round draft pick out of Northwestern taken by the Eagles last April. He didn’t make it out of training camp after struggling mightily in the preseason.

The Cowboys picked Thorson up off the scrap heap and added the 23-year-old to their practice squad. He’s been there since Sept. 1 and has been mostly running the scout-team offense for Dallas.

ESPN’s Ed Werder name-dropped Thorson as a possibility at emergency quarterback as Dak Prescott continues to deal with a pretty significant right shoulder injury. Apparently, Cowboys quarterbacks coach Jon Kitna is very high on Thorson.

The Unlikeliest of Quarterback Scenarios for Sunday

NFL teams usually only keep two quarterbacks active on gamedays, so it would take an extreme setback from Dak Prescott to get Clayton Thorson on the 53-man roster.

All indications are that Prescott will be the starter and functioning as close to 100-percent as he can be this time of year. If Prescott were to suddenly be ruled out, then backup Cooper Rush would draw the start. In that unlikely scenario, Thorson would be promoted from the practice squad to No. 2 quarterback.

It would take an in-game injury to Rush to get Thorson on the field and then the rookie would get the chance to show his old team what they gave up on. Thorson would get to do it two days before his birthday, too. He’s a Christmas baby.

Clayton Thorson’s Short Career in Philadelphia

The Eagles had high hopes for Clayton Thorson when they drafted him 167th overall. He was seen as a project from a relatively small school, with an accurate arm and good instincts. It didn’t quite pan out the way the team envisioned. He did throw a 38-yard touchdown pass to (ironically) Greg Ward.

Thorson went 30-of-62 for 266 yards with three interceptions and one touchdown in four games, including one start. His QBR was a dismal 45.5. The tough part was that the rookie had multiple chances to earn a roster spot, especially due to a slew of injuries at the quarterback position.

“I think he’s done a good job. His grasp of the system is good for where we are at this point, how long he’s been here,” Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh said early in training camp. “His ability to communicate that in the huddle, his demeanor in the huddle is really good.”

The Eagles gave him every opportunity to succeed. When he failed, they went out and signed Josh McCown. Oh well.

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