Quarterback Jameill Showers knew what was at stake in Thursday’s 28-17 preseason loss to the Houston Texans.
Rookie quarterback sensation Dak Prescott, who is taking over for the injured Tony Romo for at least the first six games of the season, was sitting out with the rest of the starters.
It was Showers an opportunity for Showers to make a case to stick on the roster and mabye show enough show enough for the backup quarterback job behind Prescott while Romo was out.
The Cowboys signed Jerrod Johnson to serve as the third quarterback Thursday, but planned to scan the waiver wire for a veteran following final cuts on Saturday.
Showers, however, left a lot to be desired in what was the longest outing of his two-year career. He spent much of last season on the Cowboys’ practice squad as receiver/defensive back/quarterback.
His inexperience was the main reason the Cowboys were going to be looking outside help quarterback for a veteran presence behind Prescott.
And while the Cowboys liked some of the things Showers did Thursday his lack of nuance was evident, while completing 10 of 20 passes for 91 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
He did throw an 18-yard touchdown pass to rookie running back Darius Jackson on a screen pass to give the Cowboys a 7-0 lead.
His two biggest miscues were a fumble while trying to scramble for a first down, setting up a Texans touchdown and an interception returned 9 yards for a touchdown by safety Antonio Allen to seal the Texans’ victory.
Showers had a chance to be a hero by leading the Cowboys to victory on the final drive but ended with his worst nightmare, a pick six into coverage.
“A lot of missed opportunities on my part,” Showers said. “And then the last play was a pick six. They were playing a cover two and I was just trying to get some yards and get us out of the end zone. I might have looked a little too early. You want to take the team down and be a hero. But it didn’t work out that way.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Showers was affected by the players around him, namely a lot of backups and guys who won’t be on the final roster. He said the offense simply wasn’t good enough.
“Obviously, we want to move the ball more effectively,” Garret said. “Third downs weren’t very good. We weren’t able to consistently sustain drives. It seems like he was moving aorund a little bit. Maybe he had some pressure that he had to deal with. We will go back and evaluate it play by play. He’s done a nice job up to this point.”
If the Cowboys don’t put Romo on the injured reserved/designated for return and add a veteran quarterback behind Prescott, the team will be hard-pressed to keep four quarterbacks on the active roster.
That would make Showers the odd man out. He could be signed back to the practice squad, however.
“I think he had some good moments and then moments where obviously he’s going to have some learning experiences,” vice president Stephen Jones said. “But you learn from being out there and it’s good for him to get to play a full game, see what he can do and get him going again. As I’ve said last year he never really sat in quarterback meetings so this is his first full year to do it, and I think as I said he did some good things and then I think he’s obviously got some things to improve upon.”
Showers refused to speculate on his roster status. But he still believes in himself. Now he just has to wait.
“I have confidence in myself but it’s really not up to me,” Showers said. “I can’t control that. We’ll see this weekend. It’s only one day but it feels like three weeks. You get up there and you just wait. It’s wwaiting to find out your destiny. It’s what all of us dream about since we were nine years old. It’s out of my control.”