Cowboys Release 2 Quarterbacks, Make Decision on Backup QB

Cowboys News

Getty The Cowboys are down to two quarterbacks on the roster.

Cooper Rush will be the Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback when the team takes the field in Tampa in Week 1. The Cowboys announced the release of both Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert as the team finalizes its 53-man roster for the regular season.

“Garrett Gilbert has been released, according to a source. Ben DiNucci also released,” ESPN’s Todd Archer detailed on Twitter. “This leaves Cooper Rush as the No. 2 to Dak Prescott at the moment, Gilbert could be back on the practice squad. Perhaps DiNucci.”

DiNucci likely sealed his fate by throwing three interceptions in the team’s preseason loss to the Texans on August 21st. Rush also made a late push in the preseason with his play on the field to secure the backup gig. After the game, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy made it clear that being careless with the football would not be tolerated.

“You know the turnovers and penalties are obviously a huge negative,” McCarthy told reporters after the Cowboys’ loss. “I’m sick about the turnovers… It’s a credit to our players frankly for how hard they fought and staying after it. But to be in the game that you’re minus four, or minus three going into the last series and still have a chance to win the game.

“So, we’ve talked about it, and well, I’m sure you’ll be talking about it, but you can’t win that way. It’s not a part of the teams I’ve coached in the past, and it won’t be moving forward. So, you got to take care of damn football. We obviously didn’t do that tonight.”

Cowboys Are Unlikely to Make Another Move at Quarterback

The Cowboys backup quarterback position is of particular importance with Dak Prescott being held out of the preseason with a shoulder injury. Prescott is also coming off two ankle surgeries in the last year making insurance behind the team’s franchise quarterback a high priority.

It would not be a surprise if either Gilbert or DiNucci were re-signed to the team’s practice squad if they clear waivers. After news broke of the roster cuts, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated another acquisition at quarterback is not imminent.

“Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said it will be a ‘high bar’ for another QB to be added that could beat out Cooper Rush to be Dak Prescott’s backup,” The Athletic’s Jon Machota tweeted. “‘It’s a high bar when you got the background in it that Cooper has.'”

Jones on Rush: ‘He’s Shown That He Can Run the Complete Offense’

This will be Rush’s fifth season with the Cowboys after signing with the team in 2017. Jones cited Rush’s consistency as a big reason for the Cowboys to name him the team’s No. 2 quarterback.

“Well, I think his consistency,” Jones told Dallas’ 105.3 The Fan. “…I just think that he’s shown that he can run the complete offense. Credit to him, he had some tough competition. Those guys didn’t cut him any slack. He’s had a lot of reps. All of our quarterbacks have because of the absence of Dak. All of those things make us feel real comfortable here.”

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