Although it has been reported that Pittsburgh Steelers fifth-year quarterback Mason Rudolph has not requested to be traded, prior remarks to reporters after the regular season depth chart came out certainly hinted at the idea that he might welcome a change of scenery.
What better scenery than that within the vicinity of his old stomping grounds? The Oklahoma State graduate may well envision himself playing for the Dallas Cowboys—after all, that is OSU’s team name—where he could also reunite with James Washington, the wide receiver with whom he had spent about all of his college and NFL career up to this season.
Dallas’ owner, Jerry Jones, told reporters yesterday that they don’t currently plan to put quarterback Dak Prescott on the Reserve/Injured List after injuring his thumb. They also don’t appear poised to make a move to add another quarterback in the interim. Rich Eisen thinks they should.
“I will be honest with you. I would call up the Pittsburgh Steelers right now and overpay for Mason Rudolph”, he said on his show yesterday. “But maybe that’s just because I have Scars of Dinucci. I’ve got Scars of Dinucci. Let’s not forget last time Dak had an extended absence, with something that he broke”.
That’s a reference to Ben DiNucci, a James Madison alum by way of Pitt, whom the Cowboys drafted in the seventh round in 2020. He had to play in three games, starting one, as a rookie while Prescott was injured. Things could have gone better.
While DiNucci is gone, the Cowboys’ current third-string quarterback, now second string until Prescott returns, doesn’t inspire confidence in Eisen. With the third-stringer now one snap away from playing if Cooper Rush were to get injured, he thinks they need to shore up this area after going through the same situation two years ago.
“You want to put everything in the hands of Will Grier?”, he said. “And also, the whole Cooper Rush, ‘Hey man, he beat the Vikings’; that was one game, and he threw to Amari Cooper, who’s not walking through that door”.
Rush, a former college free agent now in his fifth season in Dallas, made his first career start against Minnesota last year. He went 24-for-40 for 325 yards with two touchdowns and an interception and a lost fumble, recording a 20-16 victory after tossing a touchdown to Amari Cooper with under a minute to play.
Tons of Steelers fans at this point would welcome any trade that sends Rudolph away in exchange for some kind of resource. For me, and perhaps for the team as well, it’s all about what that compensation is. Anything less than a fourth-round draft pick doesn’t have me particularly interested lest the Steelers find themselves in the same boat—and if they do trade Rudolph, they would have to go looking for their Will Grier. They don’t even have one.