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Mike McCarthy Says Cowboys Need “One More Week” to Determine Backup Quarterback for 2021

The Dallas Cowboys still have plenty to figure out heading into their final preseason game. There are battles at cornerback and safety, the swing tackle role has been shaky, and with Neville Gallimore’s injury, the Cowboys need players to step up on the defensive interior.

Those issues need their proper attention, but the backup quarterback role should be at the top of the Cowboy’s priority list. If the disaster of the 2020 season taught the Cowboys anything it’s that whoever is behind Dak Prescott on the depth chart has to be serviceable, seeing as that wasn’t the case most of the time after his injury.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy says that the Cowboys need one more week to decide who will be Prescott’s primary backup.

“Well, we have one more week and we’re going to need it,” McCarthy said after the Cowboy’s 20-14 loss to the Houston Texans on Saturday.

Once Prescott was sidelined with a shoulder strain it was Garrett Gilbert who took over the first-team reps in practice. He’s completed 19 of his 34 passes so far in the preseason. Gilbert hasn’t thrown an interception but he hasn’t thrown a touchdown or produced a touchdown drive either.

Gilbert completed three of his five passes for 30 yards on Saturday night but also lost a fumble that led to a Texans touchdown.

“Obviously wasn’t his best night,” McCarthy said of Gilbert.

2020 seventh-round pick Ben DiNucci had a night to forget as well. He completed 14 of his 19 passes. However, he threw three interceptions, and one was returned for a touchdown. DiNucci has the most to prove of all the backup quarterbacks so this performance came at a terrible time for him, and he’ll need to have a big showing in the Cowboy’s last preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars if he hopes to make the 53-man roster.

There was one bright spot at the quarterback spot against the Texans. Cooper Rush, who served as Prescott’s backup from 2017 to 2019 before signing back with the team last October, went 10 of 12 for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

Rush has been down this road before and he is focused on landing a roster spot.

“It’s always an uphill battle,” Rush said. “You’re competing every game. You’re always hanging on. You’re always trying to get a roster spot, get the two spot. That’s kind of the mentality for every guy in here and me especially. Just try to get in there, get your reps and capitalize on those reps in games or practices and always out here just trying to make the team.”

With only one preseason game left it’s put up or shut up time for all three of the Cowboy’s backup quarterbacks.

“We’re getting down to crunch time here. It’s time to start making some decisions,” McCarthy said.

It’ll be interesting to see how will this backup quarterback battle shapes out.

What do you think?


Written by Matthew Lenix

I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.


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  1. If I had to choose one out of the 3 for the backup QB spot I’d choose Cooper Rush!! He’s been the better QB of the 3 all preseason!! But if I had the option to go outside of the team for the backup QB spot, that’s what I would do!! Hopefully we won’t need a backup QB, but if we did need a backup to come in for a game or 2, I’d rather have Blake Bortles than any of the 3 we have now!! But I know we won’t go out and get a better backup, so we will have to work with what we have and it’s looking like Cooper Rush is the best of what we have…. As far as a backup is concerned!!

  2. CB fan I have to agree with you! CR may be looking like the best of the three right now but we all know when the season starts and these guys have to come in and try to run our offense against a true NFL defense well we have seen how that usually turns out! I believe with the right coaching BB could be a decent QB in this league but I guess Jerry knows more about this Business than we do ! BB would definitely be a step up from anything we have right now!

  3. Rush didn’t look better than Gilbert ALL of the preseason. And Gilbert has looked ok in regular season play; Rush never has! Jerry has an affinity for him though. Without bringing someone else in we are on early season injury from being a lock to be in running for top overall pick in next year’s draft.

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