The Dallas Cowboys turned some heads when they announced their 53-man roster, with Dak Prescott the only quarterback on the team. According to Michael Gehlken, Dallas Morning News’ Cowboys released Will Grier and then cut Cooper Rush. Rush, unlike Grier, will not be subject to waivers and is technically free to sign with another team.
“Cowboys released QB Cooper Rush, person familiar with move said,” Gehlken tweeted on August 30, 2022. “He has accrued at least four years of NFL experience, so he’s not subject to waivers. Rush and Will Grier both off initial 53, but at least one likely returns. Rush threw game-winning TD at Vikings in first start.”
The Cowboys hope to resign Rush. ESPN’s Todd Archer called the decision “roster manipulation.” It will also be interesting to see if another team, such as the Seahawks and Browns, could take a shot at Rush in this short window.
“The Cowboys are keeping one QB on the 53-man roster for the time being: Dak Prescott,” Archer said in a series of August 30 tweets. “Cooper Rush and Will Grier have been released, according to sources. Rush does not go through waivers; Grier does. Likely both will be back in some form – PS or active – to serve as backup.
“Don’t be alarmed. It’s roster manipulation at the moment to be prepared for moves to come over the next few days. They can have a wink-wink deal with Rush since he’s a vested vet. Grier would be back if unclaimed as well.
“Many of these moves by teams today are ways to work around the 53-man roster limit. In effect, they are going with 56-57-man rosters with how practice squad callups now work these days.”
Archer’s report shows that the Cowboys are sold on Rush as their backup quarterback. This assumes that the signal-caller signs with Dallas. If Rush can be brought back by the Cowboys, it would not surprise me.
Preseason was a heated battle for the backup job, with Grier performing better than Rush in the exhibition contests. Rush’s experience in starting against the Vikings last season in Prescott’s absence seems to have played a significant role in this decision.
Grier’s status is uncertain as he will go through waivers. This leaves open the possibility of Grier being claimed by a team seeking depth at quarterback. Grier’s performance during the preseason has likely made heads in the league. However, the quarterback is a possible Cowboys practice squad candidate if Grier goes unclaimed. Mike McCarthy, Cowboys’ head coach, praised Grier during training camp. He now hopes that no other team takes Grier.
McCarthy stated that “I believe Will’s taken a step forward” during an August 9 press conferences. “I think Will has done a great job with his reps. It was obvious that he felt the command. Coming in [last season], I believe the language barrier [of offense] was a challenge.
“[Grier] was there every day in the offseason, and I think you’re seeing it’s paid off. But I think it’s clear that he’s playing much quicker and he’s making plays. I do think he definitely has the type of playmaking ability, not only to make plays in a pocket, but definitely out of the pocket.”