Dallas Cowboys: One thing is now abundantly clear

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys are just an exhibition game away from the regular season and one thing has been made abundantly clear: they need Dak Prescott.

After straining his arm/shoulder early in training camp, Prescott has effectively been put on ice this preseason. On the heels of a season in which he was lost for the last 11 games, the Dallas Cowboys are unabashedly playing it safe with their franchise signal-caller and don’t plan to exposed him to live action until the season opens in Tampa.

As a result, Cowboys fans have been left to watch a handful of back-up quarterbacks like Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush, and Ben DiNucci drive the offense. The results have been…painful to watch.

One thing has been made abundantly clear this preseason, the Dallas Cowboys cannot afford to lose Dak Prescott this season.

That previous statement may fall into “well, duhhhhhh” territory since very few NFL teams can successfully withstand the loss of their QB1, but one only needs to watch a Cowboys game or two to see things are different here in Dallas.

The Dallas Cowboys cannot afford to lose Dak Prescott for even a short period of time this season.

The back-up QB situation is so bad in Dallas, even the most talented offense in the NFL can’t save whoever the fill-in may ultimately be.  We saw it once again Saturday night in Dallas. QB2 Garrett Gilbert looked bad in just about every way.

With the pocket presence of a toddler on ice skates, Gilbert routinely put himself in poor situations and failed to move the ball against a fairly pedestrian defense.

Gilbert a former sixth round pick in 2014, has had a journeyman career, even leaving the league midcareer for lack of opportunities. In 2018 Gilbert made a comeback, largely highlighted by one game last season in Dallas. In that game Gilbert looked promising in his losing effort, ultimately leading to his anointment as QB2.

This preseason, Gilbert has been unable to pick up where he left off last year and appears to be much more the journeyman from his first six years than the one game flash-in-the-pan from 2020. Confidence has appropriately soured and now the Dallas Cowboys are faced with quite the unknown back-up QB situation.

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Challenging Gilbert is veteran Cooper Rush. The Cowboy, turned Giant, turned Cowboy again, is well versed in the system but extremely limited in his ability. His suspect arm shrinks the field and takes away a major advantage an All-Star receiver corps like this is supposed to give you. Still Rush seems to do just enough to not be terrible – something the rest of Dallas’ passers can’t do.

Speaking of other terrible QBs, Ben DiNucci has been given every opportunity to win the QB2 job this year and has used those opportunities to show he has no place on a 53-man active roster.

The Dallas Cowboys cannot afford to lose Dak Prescott for even a short period of time this season. They don’t even have a developmental prospect on staff, let alone a bus driver to hold down the fort should something happen to No. 4 again.

It’s safe to say there’s nothing on the open market either, which means Dallas either needs to trade for a somewhat respectable backup or roll the dice on Dak Prescott staying healthy all year. At a time of the year when it’s too-little/too-late, there aren’t many options for the Dallas Cowboys. We simply need to accept the situation and deal with it.

It’s Dak Prescott or bust this year.

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Hopefully next offseason we’ll pay the QB2 position a little more respect than we did this year. At one point there were options available, Dallas just wasn’t interested. Next year they’d be wise to have interest.

  • Published on 08/22/2021 at 12:58 PM
  • Last updated at 08/22/2021 at 13:09 PM