‘It’s been quite the journey’: Cooper Rush, Garrett Gilbert have chance to make first NFL start vs. Steelers - Calvin Watkins, DMN
Garett Gilbert and Cooper Rush talk about their possible opportunity to play on Sunday.
And if you add Andy Dalton being placed on the COVID-19 reserve list and the poor performance by seventh-round pick Ben DiNucci in a loss at Philadelphia, it’s also pushed both men into a possible start against the No. 3 overall defense in the NFL.
“Yeah, I mean for starters obviously this is an awesome opportunity,” Gilbert said. “You’d love for it to be under different circumstances. Obviously hoping Andy gets back as soon as possible and gets well soon but I’m excited about it. I think Cooper’s in the same boat. Whoever’s name is called Sunday we’re both going to be excited about the opportunity.”
As [Rush] waited to get cleared, Prescott, a man he backed up for three years, fractures his leg in a game against the Giants.
“I was sitting down there in Houston watching and obviously I felt sick for him and sick for the team and knowing him and what a warrior he is,” Rush said.
Rush had the workout but wasn’t signed. The Cowboys expressed interest and signed him Oct. 30 to their practice squad because he was familiar with the offensive system and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore remained a supporter.
“It’s been kind of crazy, up and down,” Rush said. “You know, you have to sit in a hotel for six days just to go work out in Houston, things like that, with all of the crazy rules and COVID things. You know, I’m happy to be back home, back with the Cowboys and ready to get going.”
How Did Garrett Gilbert & Cooper Rush Get Here? - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com
With Garrett Gilbert and Cooper Rush vying to start against the Steelers, Rush's experience in Dallas may be an advantage.
Whether it’s Gilbert or Rush, head coach Mike McCarthy plans to go with a little more experience against the undefeated Steelers (7-0). Rookie Ben DiNucci made his first NFL start last Sunday against Philadelphia, completing 21-of-40 passes for 180 yards, but lost two fumbles and got sacked four times in the Cowboys’ 23-9 loss.
Gilbert and Rush only have three career regular-season pass attempts apiece, but both have been around the league a few years. Although Rush just arrived back on the Cowboys' practice squad this week, he served as a backup to Prescott the previous three seasons, including offensive coordinator Kellen Moore's first year calling plays in 2019.
"He's been a guy that obviously I've known and knowing his system has really helped," Rush said. "You can kind of jump right in, and 90 percent is the same. Little tweaks in there and you can quickly translate if you ever need it. So it's really easy to get up to speed with anything that's new, for sure."
Gilbert technically has spent more time with this year’s version of Moore’s offense, though. The Cowboys signed him off the Browns’ practice squad Oct. 13, two days after Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle against the Giants.
It’s been “quite the journey” for Gilbert, a former sixth-round pick by the Rams who has been on rosters and/or practice squads for seven NFL teams since 2014. Before joining the Browns in 2019, he also played for the Orlando Apollos of the Alliance of American Football.
Writer’s Blocks: A Modest QB Proposal - David Helman, DallasCowboys.com
Just hear him out.
With all due respect to Cooper Rush and Garrett Gilbert, I am unconvinced the Cowboys have a legitimate shot to win this game with either quarterback. Piecing together a game plan against Philadelphia is one thing, but Pittsburgh is a different category. This is one of the four or five best teams in the NFL right now.
So this is my pitch to the Cowboys' coaching staff: it's time to double down on last weekend's gameplan. It's time to really lean in to the idea of the Wildcat.
Maybe we can call it the WildBoy.
Dallas Cowboys: Should Troy Aikman’s take on Ezekiel Elliott worry fans? - Steven Mullenax, Fansided
This is something you really hate to consider, given the investment in Ezekiel Elliott’s contract. But this is Aikman speaking. And he is kinda smart about football stuff.
Here’s what Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman told The Musers during a radio interview this week on 96.7 FM/1310 AM, The Ticket when asked about why he believes Elliott has struggled so much this season.
” … I think that the wear and tear, [Elliott’s] a physical runner. He runs as hard as anybody that I’ve ever seen quite honestly. And I think he’s a great finisher and all that. But that begins to take a toll. And it starts to happen about this time.”
Aikman would also mention that Dallas runs the ball the second-least amount in the NFL on first and second down. And that’s despite the fact the Cowboys built their offensive line and drafted Elliott specifically to run the football.
Although Aikman’s take on why Elliott is struggling isn’t earth-shattering, it certainly cause for concern. If he’s right, fans will see less and less of the version of Zeke that rushed for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns as a rookie.
Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott reacts to fourth starting QB in 2020, shrugs off individual stats: ‘We need a win’ - Patrik Walker, CBSSports.com
Surprisingly, this is not the first time the Cowboys have used four different QBs in a season. Not surprisingly, it hasn’t gone so well in the past.
This will mark the third time since 2000 that the team will be forced into four QBs in a single year, with the previous two occasions as follows:
2001: Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Ryan Leaf, Clint Stoerner
2015: Tony Romo, Matt Cassel, Kellen Moore, Brandon Weeden
They went on to finish with a 5-11 record in 2001 and landed face down at 4-12 in 2015, strong hints as to where 2020 is headed.
Cowboys DE Randy Gregory opens up on anxiety after NFL suspension - Jori Epstein, USA Today
This is a remarkable look at the journey Randy Gregory took back into the NFL.
Gregory's application for reinstatement wasn’t granted until Sept. 4. So during spring and summer, he worked at an Amazon warehouse in the North Texas suburb of Lewisville. The 6-5, 242-pound defensive end took stock of inventory, helped load trucks and problem-solved challenges to coordinate efficient package delivery routes.
He made $15.50 an hour. And he was happy.
“I was grateful for what I had, regardless of the fact that I wasn’t playing football,” Gregory said. “I was happy I was making an honest living. I was happy that I was waking up every day with some kind of purpose. I was happy I was coming home to a family that loves me and cares for me. I was truly happy with myself and honestly I was content with the fact that if I didn’t play again, I would move on and be happy regardless.
“There would be some pain in there knowing that I wouldn’t play football, but not necessarily the pain of failure.”
Cowboys DE Aldon Smith determined to finish impressive comeback season strong - Michael Gehlken, DMN
Aldon Smith’s pace has slowed after a fast start, but he wants to finish strong.
“I’m extremely grateful for the Cowboys giving me a chance,” said Smith, who hadn’t played since 2015 due to a league suspension. “I mean, I appreciate that. I’m not thinking about next season. I really just want to — I want to win. I want to keep getting better every week, and I want to keep getting better every week. I want to win. That’s what I’m worried about. That’s what’s on my mind.”
Smith has dealt with injury of late.
A knee ailment has limited him for multiple games. Still, overall, he has had a productive season, recording four sacks and 26 total pressures. All four games came in the season’s first three games. Smith and running back Ezekiel Elliott (hamstring) have been limited participants in practice this week.
This typical “TEAM” façade became evident in the NFL over the past few weeks as I watched the Dallas Cowboys unravel at the seams, losing five of their last six games. The moment that stands out took place as Dallas was losing to the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins when their quarterback, generally seen as a “team leader,” laid crumpled on the grass field, dazed and confused. Just a few seconds earlier, Cowboys’ quarterback Andy Dalton had been upright throwing a pass when an illegal late hit by an opposing player exposed the lip service behind “America’s Team.” As I watched a concussed Dalton being removed from the game, I was struck by the complete lack of reaction—or emotion— from his teammates. They stood, hands on their hips. In a real team, there would have been others making sure the offending defensive player was aware that a cheap shot on my “teammate” was a cheap shot on me, as well. And the defender would have known that on this “team,” we have each other’s back.
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