Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy gave offensive play-calling duties to his starting quarterback during the team's preseason finale against the Las Vegas Raiders, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. The set-up apparently went well, with the Cowboys winning 31-16 to finish preseason 1-2.
McCarthy typically gives the assignment to an assistant coach for his team's preseason finales, but he apparently felt the eighth-year starter was deserving of the responsibility.
The Cowboys have so far opted to bench their starters in preseason, and that continued Saturday. Will Grier, who entered training camp as the third-string quarterback, played the entire game under center amid a curious time in the Dallas quarterbacks room.
So curious, in fact, that Grier was reportedly told before the game he wouldn't be making the team. Despite being a dead man walking, Grier had one of the best performances of the preseason, going 29 of 35 with 305 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, plus 53 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
— NFL (@NFL) August 27, 2023
The reason for Grier's departure is the trade that landed former San Francisco 49ers third overall pick Trey Lance on Friday in exchange for a fourth-round pick. In addition to Prescott and Grier, the Cowboys already had veteran backup Cooper Rush on the roster, leaving Grier as the team's fourth quarterback in a league where teams usually carry only three.