Cooper Rush

Cowboys To Cut Kellen Moore

Months after agreeing to re-sign Kellen Moore, the Cowboys will move on from the backup quarterback. Dallas will cut Moore, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).

However, Rapoport adds the sixth-year backup could return to the team at some point. A year after carrying one of the most accomplished backups in NFL history in Tony Romo, the Cowboys are not exactly deep at this position. They signed Luke McCown in late July, but Rapoport tweets rookie UDFA Cooper Rush is set to be the backup quarterback for now (Twitter link). Rush played at Central Michigan.

The 29-year-old Moore did not play last season, spending it on IR after suffering a summer injury that opened the door to Dak Prescott‘s remarkable rise. He was brought in on a one-year, $775K in March but did not play well during the preseason. Moore last played in 2015, filling in for an injured Romo.

The Cowboys could remain in the market for a backup quarterback. Although Romo said he would only consider coming out of the broadcast booth and suiting up for his former team, Dallas is now somewhat vulnerable if Prescott goes down.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Seahawks, Redskins, Rush

During Friday’s preseason game, Austin Davis outplayed Trevone Boykin as the pair of Seahawks quarterbacks battled for the backup gig behind Russell Wilson. While Davis finished with a perfect quarterback rating, Boykin went 0-for-6 while tossing an interception. Despite the clear disparity in their performance, coach Pete Carroll was adamant that the organization won’t be basing their final decision on one game.

“I really think that we were just out of sync so much for the first 10, 12 plays there that Boykin just couldn’t get rolling,” Carroll said (via Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times). “It just felt like we were out of whack for a bit. Austin came right in we kind of fit together very nicely.

“Trevone has had a really good preseason so far. I don’t think five to six passes he threw in this game should be in the final decision. I think he’s done very well.”

Of course, the team could decide to hang on to three quarterbacks, and Carroll seemingly left that possibility open.

“It’s a good idea if you can do it,” Carroll said. “They’re so important. It just depends on the rest of the roster.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…
  • The Redskins could potentially trade a tight end before the regular season gets underway, opines John Keim of ESPN.com. Rookie fifth-round pick Jeremy Sprinkle looks poised to serve as Washington’s third tight end behind Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis, meaning the club’s final slot at the position will be filled by either Derek Carrier or Niles Paul. The one who doesn’t earn a roster spot could be dealt for either a reserve offensive lineman or a draft choice, per Keim, who adds that both Carrier and Paul would “hold value” to other NFL teams.
  • Cooper Rush will earn a place on the Cowboys‘ roster as a backup quarterback, as owner Jerry Jones says Dallas will not try to sneak Rush through waivers in order to stash him on the practice squad (link via Rob Phillips of DallasCowboys.com). Rush, an undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan, is still in contention for the Cowboys’ No. 2 quarterback job behind Dak Prescott, although he’s competing with veteran Kellen Moore for that role. While Rush has completed 75% of his preseason passes for six touchdowns and no interceptions, Moore has posted a 54% completion rate, one touchdown, and one pick.
  • Just months after being selected in the fifth round of the draft, running back Jeremy McNichols is not a roster lock for the Buccaneers, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN.com“He’s gonna get one final chance to show what he can do,” said head coach Dirk Koetter, referring to Tampa Bay’s final preseason game on Thursday. McNichols, who’s been shown having a hard time grasping the Buccaneers’ offense on Hard Knocks, only saw two plays on Saturday (including a failed blitz pickup) before being yanked, per Laine. While Doug Martin will miss the first three games of the season while on suspension, Tampa Bay has other backs to replace him, including Jacquizz RodgersCharles Sims, and Peyton Barber.
  • 49ers defensive end Tank Carradine has played sparingly since being selected in the second-round of the 2013 draft. With only 36 games and 57 tackles over four seasons, some wondered whether Carradine could be looking for a new gig following the preseason. However, based on an evaluation from defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, it sounds like the 28-year-old is a lock to make the roster. “With Tank, when I say ‘elite,’ I’m talking as a run-down, six-technique, someone who just can really dominate his edge and own the line of scrimmage,” Saleh said on NBC Sports Bay Area (via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com).

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

Cowboys Notes: Elliott, Moore, Rush

Here’s a look at the Cowboys:

  • A delayed suspension for Ezekiel Elliott is not out of the question, Mike Florio of PFT writes. Elliott could turn to the court system for a preliminary injunction, like former Vikings Pat Williams and Kevin Williams once did, which would bar the league from suspending him until the case ends. The Cowboys star might not be able to get his ban overturned in court, but there’s a chance that he could push the suspension to the 2018 season, if he goes that route. Elliott has indicated that he will sue the NFL if necessary, but he will first go through the league’s appeal process to see if he can have his six-game suspension overturned or reduced.
  • Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan says he won’t rule out Cooper Rush for the team’s backup quarterback role just because of his lack of experience, as Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News writes. Linehan also has a longstanding relationship with Kellen Moore, but he says that will not be a factor either. Rush has yet to take a snap in a real NFL game, but he has completed 69% of his passes in three preseason games with four touchdowns and no interceptions. His emergence could impact the Cowboys’ final 53-man roster as Dallas may look to carry three QBs. Dallas could try to sneak Rush through waivers and on to the practice squad, but that’s a dicey proposition after his strong showing in the exhibition games.
  • It’s possible that last year’s Josh Brown saga could impact Elliott in his appeal.

Cowboys Sign 2 Quarterbacks

The Cowboys have added a host of undrafted free agents, including two quarterbacks. Here’s the full list plus some details on the team’s newest signal callers:

Appleby started out at Purdue but transferred to Florida for his final collegiate season. In 2016, he threw for ten touchdowns against seven interceptions with a 60.8% completion percentage in his nine games. It probably wasn’t as strong of a showing as he would have liked before shifting his focus to the NFL. Rush, meanwhile, started in all four seasons at Central Michigan and received high praise for his football IQ during the draft process.

Both players will compete for a spot behind Dak Prescott and Kellen Moore. It’s not clear whether the Cowboys want to carry three QBs on the roster, but it helps that the team did not select any QBs in the draft.

Jarwin will received a higher-than-average bonus of $15K, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today (on Twitter).

Breer On GM Search, Harbaugh, Draft

When it comes to being a GM, is it more about who you know than what you know? In his latest column, Albert Breer of The MMQB spoke with one league official who suggested that the NFL’s career development advisory panel has something of a fraternity-vibe.

It’s all full of nepotism. It’s a joke. And it starts with Charley Casserly,” the personnel man said.

Casserly rejected the idea that he, Ron Wolf, Bill Polian, Ernie Accorsi, John Madden, Tony Dungy and Carl Peterson are aiming to line up their friends with jobs, but he did acknowledge that connections help.

It’s so different than it is with coaches,” Casserly said. “Coaches are so clearly defined. You know who calls the plays, you see them on TV, coordinators have press conferences. It’s just not like that in scouting. Are they pro? College? None of them are making big decisions. What you need is networking. It’s not politicking.”

Casserly was directly involved with the Jets’ coach and GM search process in 2015. Gang Green wound up hiring Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan – two former co-workers of Casserly’s.

Here’s more from Breer:

  • Breer identified the following executives as people who could immediately jump into a GM job somewhere: Chiefs VP of player personnel Chris BallardPatriots VP of player personnel Nick Caserio, Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCostaSeahawks co-director of player personnel Scott FittererTexans director of player personnel Brian GainePackers director of player personnel Brian GutekunstSeahawks co-director of player personnel Trent KirchnerCowboys assistant director of player personnel Will McClay, Cardinals VP of player personnel Terry McDonoughVikings assistant GM George PatonFalcons assistant GM Scott PioliBengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin, Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf.
  • The widespread feeling in NFL circles is that Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh will be back in pro football eventually, even if it’s not happening right now. For his part, Harbaugh says that he is incredibly happy as the Wolverines’ coach.
  • Is Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen the next under-the-radar quarterback prospect a la Carson Wentz? It was Craig Bohl who recruited Carson Wentz to North Dakota State and he is now Allen’s coach at Wyoming. It’s hard to say whether the 6’5″, 222-pound signal caller has the same kind of talent, but his stock is rising. “He’s a big ol’ kid with a big arm, and he’s pretty athletic too,” said one AFC exec. “We gotta learn more about him, but the tools are there.” Allen, a redshirt sophomore, has plenty of time to develop.
  • Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck recently predicted that Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush will be an “incredibly high draft pick” this year. Apparently, talent evaluators do not agree. “He may get drafted late because of the [lack of] quality at the position,” said one area scout assigned to CMU. “He’s an accurate thrower with deceptive athletic ability to extend plays with his feet. Not a dynamic or explosive athlete, but good enough to avoid the rush and create at times. Average arm at best, but he’s got solid touch on intermediate and deep balls. He just lacks elite velocity.”