Dallas was “Rushed” into a change at QB2
Cooper Rush arrived in Dallas as an undrafted rookie quarterback out of Central Michigan. He emerged from training camp as the second quarterback on the Dallas Cowboys roster.
To move from being a camp arm/someone to push Kellen Moore into the position as backup to Dak Prescott the former Chippewa passer had to turn heads with his performance. The Cowboys were pleased with what they had in Moore. As the rookie revealed himself in camp an edge was still given to the veteran due to his relationship with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.
No matter; Cooper Rush was determined. His performances during the preseason and his ability to bring life to the Cowboys offense proved to be a deciding factor. Not too far removed from a series of lackluster performances behind a string of reserve quarterbacks (including Kellen Moore) the Dallas staff decided the spark that came with Rush was the thing they needed in a QB2.
The Moore cut was not necessarily the end of Kellen’s time in Dallas
Kellen Moore never found the playing success he hoped for in the National Football League. He was still a valuable part of the offensive puzzle in Dallas.
While that may sound contradictory, it is not. What he brought to the team was an outstanding football mind and a thorough understanding of what Scott Linehan wanted to do on offense. After all the two worked together in both Detroit and Dallas; they were on the same page.
There will be younger talents with more upside available to teams looking for a quarterback. This means that should something happen Kellen Moore should be available for the Cowboys. In fact, ESPN reports he could come back this Sunday if the Cowboys decide to move Rico Gathers to IR.
The Bene Benwikere trade was a solid move
Benwikere is not the guy who is going to come to town and transform the defense, but he is a solid depth guy who can make a play at a critical juncture. He has done that in the league, during his time in Carolina. While he had not developed as it was once hoped, he does bring talent and health to a team that is looking to revitalize a defensive secondary that has needed a shot in the arm for the past few seasons.
The Cowboys knew that he was not going to make the final 53 in Cincinnati and they felt he would not make it to them on waivers. The Bengals got a conditional draft pick in exchange for a veteran corner with some starting experience. It was a win for everyone involved.
Dallas gets some low cost insurance for the secondary, Cincy gets something out of a player they were going to waive, and Benwikere gets a chance to play for a contender.
Risk pays off for Noah Brown
Electing to declare for the NFL draft after just one season as a collegiate starter turned some heads when Ohio State’s Noah Brown announced his decision. A slot on a league roster was anything but certain.
Brown was fortunate enough to wind up in Dallas where the coaching staff likes big-bodied wideouts that can play with strength as well as athleticism. Think Dez Bryant types here. That is what Brown has going for him. He also has the size to line up on the end of the line of scrimmage and fill a blocking role tight if needed. That position flexibility is another thing the Dallas staff favors.
Noah was able to do enough throughout training camp to insure that he, and not Andy Jones or Lance Lenoir, forced the squad to keep a rare sixth receiver. It is clear that Dallas sees Brown as a talent that can be molded for a future role since it is highly unlikely that they will have duties for a WR6 on gameday.
Dallas loves themselves some running backs (and tight ends)
The Cowboys enter the season with five running backs and four tight ends on the roster. With the Ezekiel Elliott situation unresolved it does make some sense to go long at that position. Everything in the offense revolves around pounding the rock straight ahead and depth at both positions is a sign of the ongoing commitment to the punishing style of offense the Cowboys employ.
It also means that the guys in the lower slots at those positions play key roles on the Cowboys special teams units and for good reason. Those guys are they type that bring their lunch pail to work every day and give a total effort at a blue collar job. The true character of this group of nine men is that they show up and get it done day in and day out.