The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t know who they are going to see at quarterback on Sunday when they face the Dallas Cowboys. According to reports, however, they can rule out the quarterback the Cowboys put out last week and played so bad that Dallas has reportedly decided that it will start one of the two quarterbacks that they have on the practice squad.
Neither of them are new to the NFL. On is Garrett Gilbert, who was a sixth-round pick of the Rams all the way back in 2014. But he would bounce around on practice squads or offseason rosters for years before finding brief life in Carolina in 2018 for one year.
In 2019, he signed on to play for the AAF, however, and he proved to be the best quarterback in the fledgling, failed league, leading the Orlando Apollos. It was enough for him to earn a contract with the Cleveland Browns, for whom he had been the third-string quarterback. He was on the practice squad before the Cowboys signed him a few weeks ago.
The other option is Cooper Rush, a 2017 undrafted free agent who has spent the majority of his career with the Cowboys, and so knows their system well. He had been on the roster for the past three years, though he only logged 26 total snaps.
One of these two quarterbacks will be starting against the Steelers on Sunday. So what do they know about them? “I don’t know a whole lot”, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was forced to admit when asked that question yesterday.
“They’re guys that—I watched all their professional clips, passes from preseason and the regular season”, he said. “Gilbert has a really strong arm, a bigger body. Rush is a more mobile guy, similar to the guy that’s there now. We’ve just got to go out there and do our job, execute at a high level. They’re NFL quarterbacks, so they’re talented. So we’re gonna go out there with that mindset”.
Rush has completed one of three pass attempts for two yards in his career. He has recorded two carries for 13 yards with one first down. Gilbert has completed two of six passes in his career for 40 yards, with one first down and one sack. He also has three kneeldowns.
That is the totality of these two players’ meaningful NFL experience, although of course they have plenty of preseason snaps as well. Given the short timeline in getting them up and running, however, in terms of knowledge, it might be to their advantage if the Cowboys choose to start Rush. Then again, Dallas has a different offensive system without Jason Garrett this year.