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After further review: Garrett Gilbert should be starting QB of the Cowboys; couple of defensive linemen impress

Let’s see what we can find out about the Cowboys QB after re-watching the tape.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With the Dallas Cowboys on a bye this week, there is no upcoming game to preview just yet, so we’ve decided to offer up a bonus edition of our weekly After Further Review piece. On Wednesday, we looked over the performance of the running backs and determined that the Cowboys should be giving Tony Pollard more of Ezekiel Elliott’s workload.

Today, we’re going to go discuss the play of Sunday’s starting quarterback, Garrett Gilbert, as we make an argument that...

Garrett Gilbert should remain the Cowboys starting quarterback

The Cowboys offense showed a little life on Sunday thanks to the play of their fourth-string quarterback. Garrett Gilbert finished the game hitting 21 of 38 passing attempts for a total of 243 yards. He had a nice touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb as well as costly, ill-advised fluttering toss to the end zone that was intercepted. In all, it was solid performance by the backup quarterback.

The Cowboys have a bye this week, and should be getting a healthy, COVID-free Andy Dalton back by the time they’re set to play the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11. This raises the question of who will be the team’s starting quarterback then? Stephen Jones appears to have already answered that question.

This is a little surprising considering how well Gilbert played on Sunday. There were a lot of things to like about his performance. He did a very good job sitting in the pocket, and looked very comfortable throwing the football. There were a handful of moments where the ball sailed, and some of that should be expected when you take into account he’s had so little time to get a feel for his receivers. Despite those misfires, his collective body of work was pretty good.

One of the things that stood out the most was how decisive he was throwing the ball. He didn’t linger in the pocket unsure of where he wanted to go with the ball. His quick decisions actually made the offensive line look pretty good. Don’t get me wrong, the line was great, but Gilbert’s ability to get rid of the ball in a timely manner was the perfect remedy for a backup offensive line that is only capable of holding off the pressure for so long. Check out some of his quick decisions and how he was able to stay in rhythm.

Gilbert displayed nice footwork on Sunday; sometimes subtle, other times more elaborate. The bounce in his step allowed him to re-direct quickly as he did a great job pointing his “ankle eye” in the direction of his receiving target. His happy feet also allowed him to always be ready to deliver the ball even when he wasn’t complete set.

He was very poised in the pocket as he didn’t seem skittish when things started to break down. Gilbert just stayed calm and delivered the ball. On those instances he did bail, he did very nice job throwing on the run. This is the type of playmaking quarterback the Cowboys need behind center in Dak Prescott’s absence as it gives the team their best chance to utilize their offensive weapons.

CONCLUSION

It’s hard to make sense of what Stephen Jones’ logic is by going back to Andy Dalton. Sure, they did fork out $3 million in insurance money for Dalton’s services that could even cost them a little more if he plays a certain percentage of the snaps (which is doable) and the team makes the playoffs (which is highly unlikely), so we can see how they’d want to get their money’s worth. But at the same time, does Dalton offer them the best chance for success?

With Gilbert under center, they stand a better chance to utilize their offensive weapons, which is important for the development of players like CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz. Keeping the ball moving means more reps for Tyler Biadasz or any of the young offensive linemen looking to carve out a role next season. With Dalton, you know what you’re getting and he’s fine, but with Gilbert comes the opportunity for something more. And let us not forget that the team will be on the look out for a backup QB next season, so why not see if Gilbert is someone who could fill that role?


We also wanted to highlight some good performances by a couple defensive linemen...

Another rookie starter impresses

The Cowboys defensive tackles started the season with so much promise, and none of it worked out how we thought. Free agent acquisition Gerald McCoy got hurt in training camp and never saw the field. Free agent Dontari Poe was largely disappointing to where he was released after seven games. And even the good news didn’t stay good for long as second-year player Trysten Hill was having a nice season before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 5 against the Giants.

While not having having these guys hurts the unit, it opened the door for more opportunities for third-round rookie Neville Gallimore. Playing in 36 defensive snaps on Sunday, the rook had the best game of his young career.

Gallimore showed up on tape a lot as he was overpowering blockers at the point off attack. Multiple times in the game he pushed through the creases and into the backfield. His strong hands were on display as once he latched on to the ball carrier, it was over. And if the got a clean shot at them, he just threw him to the ground. Let’s look at him in action.

Here are the same plays at a different angle with things slowed down a bit.

Randy Gregory had a nice game too

Not only did Gallimore have himself a great game, but Randy Gregory continues to get better. After playing only six defensive snaps in his season debut against Washington, he’s now tallied 31 and 40 snaps respectively over the past two games. His skills were all over the tape as he demonstrated a lot of power pushing his blockers backwards and did a great job using his hands to fight through creases.

Here are the same plays at a different angle with things slowed down a bit.

Both Gallimore and Gregory showed up big on those fourth down stops.

Let’s slow it down...