The Dallas Cowboys face some difficult decisions at quarterback this offseason. Despite plenty of grumblings from some Cowboys fans, Dak Prescott will be the team’s starting quarterback for 2023, but the position is a mystery beyond the QB1. Prescott still has two seasons remaining on his $160 million deal and trading the quarterback would prompt Dallas to take a massive cap hit.
After an impressive stint filling in for Prescott this season, Cooper Rush will be a free agent in March, and the quarterback could be in line for a lucrative new deal elsewhere. Will Grier is on the roster for next season and is slated to have a $1 million salary. Grier was in a close competition with Rush last training camp to win the QB2 job, but Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox believes it is time for the Cowboys to move on from the quarterback.
“Bringing back Rush would be a logical move for the Cowboys, and it could (or perhaps should) come at the expense of third-string quarterback Will Grier,” Knox wrote on January 30, 2023.
“Grier has limited experience and has gone 0-2 with a paltry 33.2 passer rating as a pro. He’s scheduled to carry a cap hit of $1.1 million in 2023 with none of that guaranteed. While saving just over $1 million wouldn’t take a huge chunk out of Dallas’ cap deficit, it would be a solid start—especially considering that Grier is an entirely expendable player.
“If Dallas insists on keeping three quarterbacks on its roster, it should target a young one with more upside in the 2023 draft.”
Will Grier Was Once Viewed as a First-Round Quarterback
During his tenure at West Virginia, Grier was once viewed as a potential first-round quarterback before falling in the 2019 NFL draft. Grier threw for 3,864 yards, 37 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 67% of his passes in 11 appearances during his final season with the Mountaineers in 2018. Ultimately, the Panthers selected Grier in the third round with the No. 100 overall pick.
Grier has been unable to solidify himself as an NFL starter but offers plenty of intrigue as a potential backup. The quarterback has not taken an NFL snap during a regular-season game since 2019. Grier threw for 228 yards, four interceptions and zero interceptions while completing 53.8% of his passes in two starts for Carolina.
Could Will Grier Replace Cooper Rush as the Cowboys Backup Quarterback?
The Cowboys claimed Grier off waivers on September 1, 2021 after the signal-caller was released. Dallas cut Grier last August as the team finalized the team’s 53-man roster. The Cowboys were able to re-sign Grier to the team’s practice squad where the quarterback spent the 2022 season. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy had high praise for Grier throughout training camp, and it will be interesting to see if the team has enough confidence to make him the QB2 if Rush departs in free agency.
“I think Will’s made a step [forward] clearly,” McCarthy explained during an August 9 press conference. “I think Will’s done a really nice job with his reps. You could feel the command. I think coming in at the time that he came in [last season], the language barrier [of the offense] is always a challenge when you go into a new system like ours.
“[Grier] was there every day in the offseason, and I think you’re seeing it’s paid off. But I think it’s clear that he’s playing much quicker and he’s making plays. I do think he definitely has the type of playmaking ability, not only to make plays in a pocket, but definitely out of the pocket.”