The quarterback carousel continues, especially in this COVID-19 2020 NFL Season.
That’s why on the Cleveland Browns‘ bye week, fans turned on their TVs to see former Cleveland Browns’ backup QB Garrett Gilbert leading the Dallas Cowboys against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers.
Gilbert performed pretty well so that leads to the question:
Should the Browns have protected Garrett Gilbert?
Who Is Garrett Gilbert?
Gilbert has been bounced around the NFL and had a stint in the ill-fated AAF (Alliance of American Football) league.
Garrett Gilbert started with the St. Louis Rams but also played for the New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, and Carolina Panthers.
He was a member of all those teams between 2014-2018, most frequently on the practice squad.
After the AAF failed in 2019, he signed with the Cleveland Browns.
He made one appearance in Week 5 of 2019, in relief of Mayfield, against the San Francisco 49ers when the game was out of reach.
The Browns lost that game 31-3.
After offseason wrangling which included being waived and re-signed by the Browns to the practice squad, Gilbert signed with the Cowboys on October 12, 2020, one day after Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending leg injury in the Cowboys’ game against the New York Giants.
Gilbert with the Dallas Cowboys
When Gilbert joined the Cowboys, all systems were go for Andy Dalton to be the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.
But that was not to be as Andy Dalton was involved in a helmet-to-helmet collision against Washington on October 25, 2020.
He suffered a concussion and has not played since.
In Week 8, Ben DiNucci, a rookie from James Madison University, got the call to be the starting quarterback against the Philadelphia Eagles.
DiNucci was the Cowboys’ 7th round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft (231st overall).
After his disastrous outing against the Eagles, Gilbert was activated from the practice squad and named the starting quarterback against the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 9.
While Gilbert had a good outing (in relative terms compared to his predecessors since Dak got injured), he still threw an inopportune interception to Minkah Fitzpatrick in the end zone.
Minkah Fitzpatrick with the interception of Garrett Gilbert in the red zone #PITvsDAL #DallasCowboys pic.twitter.com/POeCYNsdfB
— Kevin Gray Jr. (@KevinGraySports) November 8, 2020
He completed 21-of-38 passes for 243 yards, one touchdown, and the aforementioned Fitzpatrick interception.
While everyone likes an underdog story, the Browns’ keeping Garrett Gilbert would not have been prudent.
GM Andrew Berry has demonstrated his ability to make roster moves that are advantageous to the Browns, and this one is no exception.
That doesn’t mean Browns fans won’t be thinking about what could have been.
Former Browns backup Garett Gilbert has scored 13 points against the Steelers. Baker had 6…. makes you wonder if we made the right decision huh
— Tyler Dill (@dill_tyler) November 8, 2020
On Sunday, Gilbert threw his first NFL TD over 2,000 days after he was drafted.
But it’s unclear how long or where his future will take him.
There are many Garrett Gilbert types in the NFL; excellent candidates for the practice squad but not necessarily your guy for game day.
Then again, he may turn around and lead the disastrous Cowboys to a semblance of respectability this season.
That still isn’t sufficient reason for the Browns to rethink their offseason decision to waive Garrett Gilbert.
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