FRISCO, Texas —The Patriots surprised the football world when they released former MVP quarterback Cam Newton on Tuesday. For their part, the Cowboys signaled that Cooper Rush won the training camp battle to be Dak Prescott's backup by keeping him on the 53-man roster, at least for now.
But the notion of another quarterback able to use his legs to gain yardage with the accolades of Newton backing up Prescott, who is coming off of a significant ankle injury and didn't play in the preseason due to a shoulder strain, was certainly an enticing notion to fans. But head coach Mike McCarthy suggested on Thursday that signing Newton was not something the team seriously considered.
"I think he has a ton of football left," McCarthy said of Newton. "We're very excited about the group we have."
Rather than sign a veteran like Newton, the team claimed Will Grier off of waivers after the Panthers released him. Grier was a third-round pick out of West Virginia in 2019. After releasing Ben DiNucci, the Cowboys also signed the second-year quarterback to their practice squad.
The player squeezed out of the Cowboys' rotation was Garrett Gilbert, who entered camp as the No. 2 quarterback behind Dak. Gilbert started the first three preseason games but didn't lead the offense into the end zone.
Not until Rush surpassed him on the depth chart for the fourth game, did Gilbert actually engineer a scoring drive, as he threw a touchdown pass to Aaron Parker last Sunday in the preseason loss to Jacksonville.
Gilbert was released on Tuesday and is now signing with the Patriots on their practice squad.