Gilbert, who was signed from the Cleveland Browns practice squad on October 12, will make his first NFL start and his first start of any kind since playing for the late Orlando Apollos. Alliance of American Football in 2019. in 2014 with the St. Louis Rams and spent time with the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers and Browns.
With rookie Ben DiNucci struggling in last week’s 23-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and Andy Dalton placing on the reserve / COVID-19 roster on Tuesday, coach Mike McCarthy determined to have a more experienced quarterback against the undefeated Steelers.
But Gilbert threw fewer passes in an NFL game than DiNucci, who was 21 of 40 for 180 yards against the Eagles. Gilbert is 2 of 6 for 40 yards in six appearances with the Panthers and Browns.
McCarthy was looking for more control over the operation than what DiNucci, a seventh-round pick, displayed.
“He played a lot of quarterback,” McCarthy said of Gilbert on Friday. “This guy grew up as a quarterback. his father [Gale] was a quarterback. I mean, he knows how to play the job. There is no lack of confidence or know-how. It’s just a matter of getting the timing and continuity in order with the execution of the attack. So, yes, I find he has a lot of confidence. He’s been like that since the day he arrived. ”
Gilbert’s six pass attempts will equal the least of a non-rookie quarterback making his first start in franchise history. Reggie Collier (1986) and Drew Henson (2004) started their first starts with the Cowboys with just six attempts.
Rush was the Cowboys quarterback behind Dak Prescott from 2017 to 2019, but threw just three passes. After the Cowboys signed Dalton, he was released and joined former coach Jason Garrett with the New York Giants until his release in September.
The Cowboys considered bringing Rush in after Prescott was injured, but went with Gilbert. Rush’s familiarity with attacking and player skills was seen as a plus. In addition, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore knows him well, having been Rush’s teammate and coach.
Although Gilbert was named a starter, McCarthy said during the week that the goal is to prepare both quarterbacks to play, which they couldn’t do a week ago by pushing DiNucci into action.
“You really pay attention to all the little things that go into the job,” McCarthy said Friday. “I think at the end of the day we have two young guys who don’t have a ton of game day experience, but they’re both very smart. The game is easy for them. It’s more about timing and being. connected, be in touch with cadence and operation. These are things that you normally eliminate in a training camp. But we are a little confronted with the time which awaits us. Garrett and Cooper know how to play the quarterback. ”
It’s not the Cowboys’ ideal quarterback position against the last undefeated NFL team.
This is the third time they have had to start four quarters in the same season. In 2001, the Cowboys threw Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Clint Stoerner and Ryan Leaf on their way to a 5-11. In 2015, they started Tony Romo, Matt Cassel, Brandon Weeden and Moore on their way to a 4-12.
NFL Network first reported plans to start Gilbert.