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Position Group Spotlight: Quarterback

How did the quarterbacks look in week one?

Brett Deering/Getty Images

Last year we looked at a different position group each week under the moniker of Cox's Corner. We're going to mix things up a bit this year. In the same vein, we'll grade a different position group for the Cowboys each week based on that week's game.

I decided to start off with the quarterback group for a couple of reasons. Other than being an obvious choice and what we started with last year, we got to see three of them play against Southeastern Louisiana, which hopefully we may not see again this year.

Mason Rudolph

Mason Rudolph looked pretty good for his first game in eight months. Let's take a look at the numbers:

  • Passing - 18/26 | 188 yards | two touchdowns
  • Rushing - three carries | -14 yards

Rudolph looked more elusive than last year with two separate scramble-then-score passes to Jhajuan Seales including this gem:

Rudolph appeared to be done well before halftime, but thanks to a strange reinsertion of the first-team offense in the third quarter even though the Cowboys were in control, he played almost half the game.

I can't say we learned too much about Rudolph that we didn't already know. It appears he worked on being mobile and moving well in the pocket.

Taylor Cornelius

Cornelius, who solidified himself as Rudolph's backup starting with an impressive showing in the spring game and during camp, looked pretty good all things considered. Most of his time on the field was behind backup offensive lineman that looked inconsistent against an FCS defense.

Cornelius' stat-line:

  • Passing - 6/8 | 54 yards
  • Rushing - six carries | 28 yards | one touchdown

The redshirt sophomore saw his first meaningful action in orange. His only stats from last year were against Kansas, going 2/5 for eight yards.

Cornelius is going to be Rudolph's backup as long as everything goes according to plan. If there are injury issues, we can expect Mike Gundy to take a hard look at likely-redshirt candidate Keondre Wudtee. But regardless, Cornelius is the most experienced backup who knows the system the most.

John Kolar

The redshirt freshman even got a couple of snaps. Here's a look at his numbers:

  • Passing - 1/2 | eight yards
  • Rushing - two carries | 18 yards

Not a whole lot we can glean from Kolar's first career game other than that he's clearly put on a little weight since arriving a year ago and appears to have the ability to tuck the ball and gain some yards on the ground.

DNP: Keondre Wudtee, Nyc Burns

Grade: B-

I give the group a B- because you can't give them too much credit based on the competition level and there were a couple missed throws and Rudolph's fumble at the goal line. All three QB's showed elusiveness and the ability to move on the ground when needed.

Each week until conference play begins the competition level should increase. It's obvious that quarterback is a strength for the Cowboys and the biggest reason for that is Mason Rudolph. The offense needs to continue to get reps and improve the on ground while keeping him healthy for Big 12 play.