Jameill Showers began training camp as the fourth quarterback and a possible candidate for the practice squad for a second consecutive season. But starting Thursday night’s game against the Houston Texans, the former Texas A&M and UTEP quarterback has a chance to earn a spot on the active roster.
“This is the name of the game,” Showers said. “You’ve got to go out and take advantage of the opportunities that you get, and this is a big one for me.”
Kellen Moore broke his right ankle Aug. 2. The Cowboys placed him on injured reserve Tuesday. Tony Romo was diagnosed with a compression fracture in his back after last Thursday’s game and will need 6-10 weeks to heal.
That leaves rookie Dak Prescott as the starter for the season opener, and Showers with a chance to go into the season as Prescott’s backup.
“You never want people to go down in front of you, but with injuries comes opportunities for other guys,” Showers said. “That’s part of the game is being able to take advantage of the opportunities you get. I’ve actually had a lot obviously in the past month go my way. I think it’s definitely helped me out a lot.”
The Cowboys have been impressed with Showers, who spent most of last season on the practice squad as a scout team player. Dallas activated Showers to the 53-player roster for the final two games, though he was inactive on game day.
“I think Showers has made a lot of progress,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said after the team’s annual Kickoff Luncheon benefitting Happy Hill Farm. “Last year he was a little bit of a hybrid player. We looked at him as a quarterback, but we also looked at him as a special teams guy and a great practice squad player [on the scout team]. We really didn’t give him a fair shot last year to develop as a quarterback. This year he’s done nothing but go to the quarterback meeting rooms. He’ll stay there. We think he’s got a future. He’s got to certainly continue to progress and get better. But he’s a driven young man. His father’s a coach, and he’s got all the intangibles you look for. He’s thrown one of the better balls I think that I’ve seen come through here. He can really spin it. It’s just a matter of getting his hands around the intricacies of the game, the anticipation that you need to have as a quarterback. I think he’s done a great job for us.”
The plan is for Showers to play the entire game, something he hasn’t done in two preseasons.
“You’re playing for the whole game now, not just playing for the fourth quarter like games before,” Showers said. “I think it’ll just show the handle that I have on the offense.”