5 quarterbacks who could start for the Cowboys with Dak Prescott out

Cowboys, Will Grier. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Cowboys, Will Grier. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /
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There are a lot of things that the Dallas Cowboys need to evaluate and sort out following their abysmal loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Perhaps the biggest one though, is who will start in the wake of quarterback Dak Prescott’s thumb injury.

Late in the fourth quarter, Prescott hit his thumb against linebacker Shaquil Barrett’s hand as he was following through on a pass attempt. He ended up leaving the game immediately and headed back into the locker room for X-Rays. Soon after the game, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones announced to the media that Dak will miss several weeks and require surgery on his thumb.

This means that the Cowboys are going to be in desperate need of a new quarterback to help them weather the storm as Prescott works his way back from an injury that will likely sideline him for the next 6-8 weeks.

The Cowboys are now forced to weigh two options. Option one is to ride it out with an in-house option (a strategy that has proved to go pretty horribly for the Joneses so far) and hope they stay afloat in the NFC East just enough so that they can make a run when Prescott comes back healthy. Option two is to look outside the organization and try to bring someone else in.  For a variety of reasons, neither option is ideal. With that in mind, here are five potential options that Dallas could consider with Dak set to miss some significant time.

5 quarterbacks who could start for the Cowboys with Dak Prescott out

Cowboys, Cooper Rush
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 26: Cooper Rush #10 of the Dallas Cowboys scrambles in the pocket against the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL preseason football game at AT&T Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

5. Will Grier

Let’s start with players already in the building. Grier was the 100th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers and was claimed off waivers by the Cowboys in 2021. He’s currently on the team’s practice squad, though his career stats are far from eye-popping.

Grier has started just two games in the NFL (both in 2019) and between the two of them, he’s attempted a grand total of 52 career passes with no touchdowns and four interceptions. That said, he was in the midst of an impressive training camp this year until a groin injury sidelined him.

All throughout camp, Grier showed a willingness to be aggressive and air it out, two things that separated him from Ben DiNucci and Cooper Rush in the preseason competition to be Prescott’s backup. The Cowboys’ offense could really benefit from both of those traits. Long term, it might be in Dallas’ best interest to give Grier a shot.

4. Cooper Rush

Out of all the names here, Rush is probably the most realistic option on this list to fill in for Prescott. He’s been with the team for seemingly forever and knows the offense and locker room well. He also won his lone career start last year, throwing two touchdowns and leading the Cowboys to victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football. That counts for something, even if he isn’t the sexiest pick in the world.

Rush may not be the most exciting option for Cowboys fans to get behind, but the team knows him and they know what they have in him. He’s shown Dallas that he can at least be competent under center, and there is something to be said for that.