Will Grier is in the midst of an important training camp in his NFL career.
The former Mountaineer quarterback is entering his fourth season in the National Football League and is in the final year of his rookie contract.
Grier is in a position battle at Dallas Cowboys camp in Oxnard, California. He and Cooper Rush are competing in training camp to be the Cowboys’ backup quarterback.
Rush has more NFL playing experience, and is believed to have the edge in the position battle, though Grier is stating his case with his play in preseason practice.
“I think Will’s made a step. Clearly,” said Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy. “I think Will’s done a really nice job with his reps. You can feel the command.”
As recently as a month before the start of training camp, ESPN’s Todd Archer did not project that Grier would make the Cowboys’ 53-man roster. Now, two weeks into camp, the Dallas Morning News is projecting that Grier will make the cut as the third quarterback on the roster.
For McCarthy, when comparing Grier’s play now to what it was when he first joined the team last year, there are stark differences.
“(He was) there every day in the offseason, and I think you’re seeing it’s paid off. I think it’s clear he’s playing much quicker, and he’s making plays,” McCarthy said. “And I do think he definitely has the type of play-making ability not only to make plays in the pocket but definitely out of the pocket.”
Grier has shown command of the offense in camp.
Reporters on hand saw Grier evading pressure to throw a close-range, back-of-the-endzone touchdown on Monday, and also delivering a deep pass down the sideline with pinpoint accuracy two days prior.
Those passes will remind Mountaineer fans of the type of plays they saw from Grier in his two years in Morgantown. But it’s not just WVU fans who can see some of what made Grier an NFL prospect in his collegiate days now showing through him with Dallas.
“The thing you always loved about Will, you know going back to West Virginia, the guy played with a lot of moxie. He has that. And you didn’t really see that in the scout team (last season),” said McCarthy. “I’m excited to see him play in real games.”
Grier and Rush will likely take the majority of snaps in Dallas’ preseason opener on Saturday, August 13, in Denver against the Broncos. Their performances in Dallas’ three preseason games will heavily impact McCarthy’s decision on who will backup franchise quarterback Dak Prescott.
The Dallas head coach stated that Rush’s play from last season – 30-for-47 passing, 422 yards, three touchdowns, one interception, and winning his only start – will factor into the backup quarterback position, as well.
Grier has not played in a regular season game since his rookie season in 2019.
He appeared in two games that season for the Carolina Panthers, completing less than 60 percent of his passes, throwing zero touchdowns, and four interceptions.