Mike Gundy seemed to clear up a big offseason story line right out of the gate at Media Days: “When we came out of spring we felt very comfortable with Taylor [Cornelius], so certainly going into August he’s our guy. He’s been with us a number of years. He understands our offense. We’re confident in his abilities.“
This seems like huge news on the surface, but if you dig a little deeper is it really that big of a story? Sure, this could mean redshirt senior Taylor Cornelius is the replacement for now Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mason Rudolph, despite everyone expecting a battle through the fall for the Cowboys gunslinger job. And while I think Gundy wasn’t necessarily being dishonest he may not have being exactly truthful either.
The parts that stick out to me from Gundy’s statement are “we came out of the spring” and “going into August he’s our guy.” Are we to take that to mean that the highly anticipated quarterback battle is over before two of the three participants arrive?
Hawaii grad transfer Dru Brown and highly touted true freshmen Spencer Sanders, both summer enrollees, haven’t even had the chance to show what they can do yet. Are we to believe that before even seeing them in action with his own eyes that Gundy is going to turn the offense over to Cornelius?
I don’t buy it.
I do believe if the season started tomorrow that it would be Cornelius over junior John Kolar, but I’m not convinced Gundy is 100% on him taking the first snap of the season.
I think the desire to redshirt Sanders is there. He seems to be the real deal and giving him a year to acclimate to the college game while you lean on your strong group of runnings backs seems prudent. But what if he shows up ready to go and is clearly better than the other QBs? Sanders is an elite athlete and looks to be the future fo Cowboy football. With the Big 12 as wide open this year as its ever been it would be silly to save him for the future if he gives you the best chance to win now.
The same goes for Dru Brown. I don’t believe he’d have transferred from Hawaii to Stillwater unless he was told he’d have a chance to earn the starting job. He has wheels and a decent arm and has a little bit of Baker Mayfield in his play style although not that much talent. Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich has proven he can be creative with a mobile passer, practically working magic the generate a run game with JW Walsh when the Cowboys struggled rushing the ball.
No, I don’t believe the quarterback situation is close to being decided. Taylor Cornelius is the guy for now and he may very well win the job when it’s all said and done, but you can’t beat out the other guys when the other guys aren’t even there yet.
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