ARLINGTON, Texas – Jameill Showers hadn't made a complete quarterback start since the New Mexico Bowl some 20 months ago in his final college game at UTEP.
With Tony Romo (back) injured and rookie Dak Prescott (rest) held out Thursday night, Showers got the keys to the offense in the Cowboys' preseason finale against the Houston Texans at AT&T Stadium.
There were good moments, like the 61-yard touchdown drive he directed on the second offensive series, completed with an 18-yard screen pass to running back Darius Jackson for the score.
There were moments he'd like back, like the pass Texans safety Antonio Allen intercepted at the Cowboys' 9-yard line and returned for a touchdown with 1:55 remaining to seal Houston's 28-17 victory.
[embeddedad0]"A lot of missed throws, missed opportunities on my part," Showers said. "And then the last play, that pick six, they were playing a Cover Two and I was just trying to get some yards back and get us out of the end zone. I think I might have looked a little too early. I asked him after the game, and he said he saw my eyes just enough to break on the ball a little bit."
Showers' final stat line: 10-of-25 for 91 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Working with the Cowboys' other offensive backups, he was sacked twice and he scrambled twice for 15 yards. He also lost a fumble in the second quarter that led to a Texans touchdown.
"I think he had some good moments and he had some moments where obviously he's going to have some learning experiences," executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "But you learn from being out there. It's good for him to get to play a full game, get to see what he could do and get him going again. As I said last year, he really never sat in quarterback meetings, so this is his first full year to do it."
Indeed, Showers spent last season mostly playing special teams on the practice squad. The Cowboys have kept him exclusively at quarterback this past spring and summer.
Now he must wait to see if he'll make the 53-man roster as a backup to Prescott, and eventually Romo when he returns from a fractured bone in his back.
"I have confidence in myself, but it's really not up to me," Showers said. "We'll see this weekend. It's one day, but it feels like three weeks. It's what all of us dream about since we were nine years old. It's out of my control."