With the preseason officially over, it's time for the Dallas Cowboys to finalize their 53-man roster. One of the most intriguing decisions the team faced was who will be the primary backup to starting Quarterback Dak Prescott for the 2021 season.
There wasn't one quarterback behind Prescott that significantly outperformed the others. However, the Cowboys made it clear on Tuesday morning who they trust the most. According to ESPN's Todd Archer, Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci have been released, leaving Cooper Rush as the No. 2 quarterback on the roster.
Garrett Gilbert has been released, according to a source. Ben DiNucci also released. This leaves Cooper Rush as the No. 2 to Dak Prescott at the moment, Gilbert could be back on the practice squad. Perhaps DiNucci.
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 31, 2021
Gilbert is who many felt would win backup duties based on what was seen in 2020 after Prescott went down with a season-ending ankle injury. He went 21 of 38 for 243 yards and a touchdown (also threw an interception) in his only start against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Week 9 loss. During the preseason, he went 28 out of 50 for 301 yards, but it was Rush's 10 out 12 for 97 yards and two touchdowns against the Houston Texans that allowed him to leapfrog Gilbert.
DiNucci's release was the excepted move of the two. He struggled mightily as a rookie in the absence of Prescott. The seventh-round pick went 21 out of 40 for 180 yards and had two fumbles in his lone start against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8. His preseason work in 2021 wasn't all that great either. He finished 35 out of 66 for 348 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. What ultimately sealed DiNucci's fate was a three-interception performance against the Texans.
Gilbert and DiNucci could end up on the practice squad. However, as it currently stands, their time in Dallas is over.