INGLEWOOD, Calif. — When it comes to the battle for the who will back up Dak Prescott in 2022, let's not quite … rush … to judgment. As it stands, the throne belongs to Cooper Rush by virtue of him being the incumbent and longtime QB2 for the Cowboys who has the inside track with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, yes, but Will Grier is hellbent on making the decision as difficult as possible.
Grier was absent from the preseason opener against the Denver Broncos and the scrimmages that preceded it - due to a groin injury suffered early last week in Oxnard - but his preseason debut for Dallas against the Chargers served as a reminder of what he's building in training camp.
The 27-year-old entered the game once Rush's evening was complete and immediately got to work - finding rookie tight end Jake Ferguson for a first down and going on to finish with six completions on 10 attempts for 98 passing yards, no interceptions, a passer rating of 92.9 and nine rushing yards.
"I'll tell you man, what a gritty performance," said head coach Mike McCarthy following the victory at SoFi Stadium. "... I thought he did great. Just a gritty performance. It was good to see him in command and running the offense. It was his first real opportunity in this offense, and I thought he did a really nice job."
For his part, Grier couldn't have been more ready to show the Cowboys what he can do, having spent his first two NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers and now finds himself trying to dethrone Rush while also holding off Ben DiNucci.
"It felt good to get out there and play a little bit," said Grier. " … No anxiousness at all [about returning from the groin injury], but that was tough - just missing some reps. But I felt comfortable from snap one today and to get some live reps. These guys hadn't seen me play live, so just [me] showing I'm confident out there and can make some plays."
And make some plays he most certainly did, but McCarthy noted in his post-game press conference some concern that Grier may have reaggravated his groin injury. When asked about the possibility of having suffered a setback, though, Grier put the kibosh on any concerns.
"No, just some fatigue," he said. "I'm good to go."
That's obviously great news for Grier, but it's even better for a Cowboys team that has a great problem on their hands in trying to decide who truly deserves the role of QB2. Rush didn't have as poor of an evening against the Chargers as he did in the week prior against the Broncos, which is key to note, along with the fact it might've looked better if rookie third-round pick Jalen Tolbert dragged his right foot to secure a touchdown in the back of the end zone instead of stepping on the back line.
That sets the stage for what could be an all-out clash between Rush and Grier in the preseason finale against the Seattle Seahawks and Grier, who showed a lot of fearlessness in his throws, doesn't intend to start playing cautiously out of fear.
He has only one thing in mind on every snap:: make the play.
"You have to be aggressive in this league," said Grier. "You have to make small-window throws,, and I'm always going to try and push the ball down the field. … "I'm happy with the way I played."
He'll now get back to work on Tuesday in preparation for the Seahawks, a game that should see him [again] play a substantial number of snaps. If he equals or betters the performance he put on film in Los Angeles, the Cowboys will have a whole lot to discuss ahead of their final roster reduction downs that must occur by August 30.
Grier's feeling about his chances is quite simple, in that when there's a Will, there's a way.