The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a very close loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Given the events of this season so far, that previous statement is absurd. The Cowboys should have been blown out on Sunday, but they managed to come close enough to force some fourth-quarter heroics for the Steelers to win 24-19. One of the reasons the Cowboys were able to do that was they play of their quarterback, Garrett Gilbert.
Gilbert wasn’t spectacular, he was 21-38 for 243 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He had a 6.4 average per pass and a 72.6 rating. All in all, not bad for his first start in the NFL against a defense that is among the best in the league. The Cowboys offensive line played much better than many thought they would, yielding only two sacks on the night. Gilbert helped that cause by escaping from the clutches of the Steelers pass rush on multiple occasions. He also added 28 yards on the ground with a few nifty runs.
The thing that Gilbert did most, though, was was to look like he belonged. The situation didn’t look too big for him. Last week in Philadelphia, Ben DiNucci looked overwhelmed most of the game and appeared to be barely hanging on. Gilbert looked confident and composed, he looked like he was ready for the moment.
It would have been nice for the Cowboys to pull off the upset, but as many have been saying for a few weeks now, this current Cowboys team is not going anywhere. Even a surprise like beating the Steelers wouldn’t have truly changed the trajectory of the season.
So when the Cowboys come off of their bye week to face the Vikings, even if Andy Dalton is healthy, there is no reason to play him. The Cowboys looked worse under Dalton than they did under Gilbert. The Cowboys aren’t likely to have Dalton past this season anyway. The Cowboys need to look to develop players during these last seven games of 2020.
They need to see what hey have in Gilbert. Was this game a flash in the pan or can he truly be developed into a backup quarterback for the future? Could he catch fire so much that he could be flipped for a mid/late-round pick? It’s unknown right now, but the Cowboys should certainly find out.
Who should the Cowboys start after the bye?
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