This offseason the Dallas Cowboys fan base has been in an uproar about who’s going to back up Dak Prescott who is returning from a devastating ankle injury. The current list of quarterbacks behind Prescott that have a real chance of making the main roster are Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush, and Ben DiNucci. Of the three behind Prescott, Gilbert is the one who’s been receiving the lion’s share of the second string snaps so far in training camp.
Obviously, the Cowboys coaching staff seems to like what they’ve seen out of Gilbert from last season, into offseason workouts, and now at training camp. So maybe it’s time for others to give him a fair shot as well, Even though he may not be a well-known name in most NFL circles, Gilbert has kicked around in the NFL for a little while, and while some may not want to add this to the résumé, he was one of the best quarterbacks in the Alliance Football League in 2019. That league had some NFL quality players that were looking to either make a comeback, or get more exposure to make an NFL roster.
During his time in the NFL, Gilbert wasn’t considered the main guy but more like a potential backup battling for a position and that didn’t really work out for him. Something seemed to change though once he entered the AAF league. A guy who couldn’t get a hold of a permanent position in the NFL perseveres and makes teams take notice of his talent is a pretty impressive story. Head coach Steve Spurrier seems to have unlocked Garrett’s potential during his time with the Orlando Apollos, even though it was a short period of time. Gilbert was able to throw for 2,152 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions, also rushing and receiving one touchdown. It’s not enough to become a trustworthy starter in the NFL, but it does make him a strong backup quarterback candidate.
That time with a respected coach in Spurrier seems to have given Gilbert the confidence to come back to the NFL and show he can keep teams in games as he did with the Cowboys last season against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, and quarterback coach Doug Nussmeier all seem to be on the same page at this point and are giving Gilbert every chance to win this position.
He may surprise all of us.