FRISCO, Texas — It was a teary-eyed goodbye for Will Grier in what many believe to have been his final game with the Dallas Cowboys, a preseason finale against the Las Vegas Raiders, but was it actually the end — following the trade for Trey Lance one day prior?
Well, that depends on how the chips fall over the next several hours, days.
Grier, 28, is a vested veteran in the NFL — i.e., he's accrued at least four seasons in the league — and that means he's not subject to waivers over the next 24 hours. Instead, he can enter into a new deal with any team at any time, a true unrestricted free agent after being released on Tuesday.
But if he wants to remain/return, the door is not only wide open; there's a welcome mat in front of it.
"I hope so," said head coach Mike McCarthy of possibly carrying Grier on the practice squad as the team's fourth quarterback. "I'd be all for it. We've just got to look at these other numbers [though]. We have some positions that are not a normal number.
"But, yes, if Will Grier gets picked up on a 53-man roster, he deserves it, but I'd love to have him back as the fourth quarterback. I think four quarterbacks in an NFL organization makes way too much sense. How you get that done sometimes [however] is a challenge."
You can count Dak Prescott in on that formula.
"That man just played his ass off," said Prescottafter Grier had what you could justifiably label as a career game against the Raiders. "That's who Will is. That's who Will's been since the time he's been here. It was awesome that he got to go out there and put that performance on display and hope the rest of the league saw that and took notice."
For his part, Grier is confident everything will work out how it is supposed to, whatever that might look like going forward.
"I think my play speaks for itself," Grier said on Saturday. "I'm a team-first guy … at the end of the day it's a numbers thing. It's just part of the job I signed up for. It's hard, it's tough, because you get close to people. But at the same time, I'm going to be just fine.
"Everybody is going to be fine."
Grier joined the Cowboys in 2021 as a waiver claim and from the Carolina Panthers and has been the developmental QB behind Cooper Rush ever since. He showed flashes in 2022 training camp before a groin injury derailed his chances of being the immediate backup to Prescott, and the aforementioned trade for Lance ahead of roster cuts may have effectively ended his time with the Cowboys.
Then again, maybe not.