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Mountaineers in the Pros

Will Grier Remains Confident, Staying Motivated After Tough Exit from Cowboys



Will Grier

While there will be former Mountaineers all over the NFL again this season, there’s one notable WVU product who is now hoping to land with a new team. Despite a solid preseason, Will Grier found himself without a job after the Cowboys cut down their roster.

Surprises do happen, but most of the time a player can see being cut coming as the season nears. But when Grier woke up Tuesday morning, he knew with absolute certainty that he was going to be released. The Cowboys actually told him he would not be on the team moving forward the day before he took the field to start Dallas’ final preseason game.

And again, getting cut had nothing to do with how Grier played. In fact, Grier put up one the best performances of his professional career in his Cowboys farewell. He completed 29 out of 35 passes for 305 yards with two touchdown passes while playing the entire game. He also ran for 53 yards and scored two more touchdowns with his legs.

So why did Dallas decide to part ways with Grier and not keep him around as a second solid backup behind Dak Prescott? The Buisness of the NFL got in the way. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones pulled the trigger on a trade to acquire Trey Lance, a former first round pick lacking experience but believed to have a tremendous upside. Jones made this trade happen for only a fourth round pick.

There’s nothing about Lance that guarantees he will be great, or that he’ll even be better than Grier necessarily, but a fourth round pick was worth taking the chance on him. If Prescott doesn’t deliver in the playoffs again, Jones may look to move on from his franchise quarterback and then it’s possible Dallas could see if Lance could reach the hype that made him someone the 49ers once gave up a lot to move up and draft.

Grier opened up with Sports Illustrated’s Cowboys FanNation site about a tough 72 hours that taught forced him to endure a series of emotions. “It’s a bittersweet moment,” said Grier about his time in Dallas coming to an end. “I’m close to a lot of these guys, so leaving this place is the hardest part.”

The 28-year-old admitted he was extra motivated to prove he belongs in the NFL on Saturday when he started a game that was going to result in him being released no matter how it played out.

“I was motivated, but it was a tough situation,” Grier said. “I just relied on the fact that I know how to play football and I’m good at it, so that’s what I did. At the end of the day, it’s a numbers thing and it’s part of the job I signed up for. I’ve been through harder things and I’ll rebound and be just fine.”

How Grier played, and maybe even more importantly, how he carried himself, impressed Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy. “That was by far the best (preseason) performance I’ve seen since 1999,” McCarthy said. “I’m just so proud of him. This is probably the worst 72 hours of the job that’s ahead of us.”

As his NFL future was in doubt, Grier stayed confident and appeared to be taking it all in stride. He also holds no ill will towards the Cowboys organization.

“I just want to see Dak (Prescott) go and win the Super Bowl and get everything he deserves,” Grier said showing his maturity.

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