Cowboys Projected to Cut Promising QB in Final 53-Man Roster Moves

Mike McCarthy

Getty Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy looks on during an NFL game.

The Dallas Cowboys know that quarterback is a crucial position, and that makes their upcoming roster moves all the more difficult.

Sure, Dak Prescott is the guaranteed starter and there’s nothing changing that. But Dallas has three other passers still remaining on the roster ahead of the cut down from 80 players to 53: Will Grier, Cooper Rush and Ben DiNucci.

DiNucci has felt like he’s been in the No. 4 spot the entire offseason, but Rush and Grier appear to be battling for the backup QB job. Now, The Athletic’s Jon Machota is predicting the Cowboys to release Grier in favor of Rush.

“Will Grier started out slow but picked things up Friday night. He finished 12-of-22 passing for 88 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 94.5 passer rating. Rush started the game but played only one series, going 2 for 5 for 20 yards,” Machota wrote. “The coaching staff wanted to see a lot of work from Grier, probably because they already have a good feel for Rush. It wouldn’t surprise me if Grier ended up winning the backup job, but I’m leaning toward the coaches choosing the QB with a little more experience in their system.”

Rush has a better regular-season performance to his name than Grier, but, as Machota mentioned, the former Florida Gator and West Virginia Mountaineer has looked good in preseason.

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Regular-Season Resumes for Grier and Rush

After impressing in college, Grier was selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers. However, his sole opportunities with the NFC South team were limited.

According to PFR, Grier started two games in 2019, completing 28 of 52 pass attempts for 228 total passing yards and four interceptions. Those are brutal numbers, and it led to the Panthers never starting Grier again.

However, Grier actually has more regular-season starts to his name than Rush, who earned his first and only NFL start last season with Dallas. However, the former CMU star’s sole start was more impressive than his competitor.

Rush led the Cowboys to a 20-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings in 2021, stepping in for Prescott as he recovered from injury. PFR states that Rush completed 24 of 40 passes for 325 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Grier has put together solid performances this offseason, but Rush came through for Dallas last year and has been with the team for four seasons. Having that kind of comfortability and understanding is crucial for both the player and the Cowboys.

Cowboys QB Speaks on Offseason Performance

Players always need to back themselves to succeed, and Grier is no different. He believes that he has played up to the standard required. When asked recently if he deserves a roster spot on the 53-man team, Grier said, “I do. It’s not up to me, but I do.”

The 27-year-old QB did explain that there are only so many chances a player gets in preseason to stand out. He admitted he wants more, but he also knows the only thing to do now is to wait and see.

“I didn’t get a huge sample size, felt like I showed what I could do, but I always want more,” Grier said per the team’s YouTube account. There’s more that’s there, but that’s part of it. All I can do now is wait until I get another opportunity.”

With the deadline for this final round of cuts coming on August 30, Grier will have an answer sooner rather than later.

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