"They play hard. I think they've been really competitive on defense. Up until last week, they hadn't really given up big plays and they hadn't missed a lot of tackles. That's the sign of a good defense. I just think last week kind of snowballed on them. They were playing pretty well, but the turnovers against a really good team hurt. There's nothing that you can really count on from them," said the Cowboys offensive coordinator.
Saturday's game is really not about Kansas. It is about Oklahoma State and the Cowboys getting better and improving their lot in the Big 12.
The bye week helped the injured players to get some time to heal, including starting quarterback Wes Lunt. It also helped the Cowboys other standout quarterback, J.W. Walsh.
"It's our second bye week in three weeks, so it's beneficial to Wes Lunt for getting his health back, (and) it's beneficial to J.W. Walsh getting reps and from that end of it we had a couple other guys banged up," said Monken. "Evan Epstein with an ankle and Jeremy Smith tweaked his ankle against Texas, so that helped. So the bye week was beneficial more than anything."
So that leads to the question, who will the quarterback be when the Cowboys return to action on Saturday in Lawrence?
"Wes was out there throwing the other night in pads. He threw the ball really well, and that gave us some encouragement," Monken said of Lunt.
"We just have to get to the point where we are confident he can run. He ran a little bit the other night, so we're hopeful to get him back this week so we can see if he can protect himself. I think that's the biggest thing. Also, seeing who gives us the best chance to win."
With Tuesday and Wednesday being the major work days, the decision will likely come in those practices.
"It'll be decided midweek because someone has to take the reps with the ones. You have to move in the direction that you want to go with your offense. Obviously by Tuesday or Wednesday we'll know," said Monken.
It could be both quarterbacks playing. In fact, Monken said both would play if Lunt is ready to go, and head coach Mike Gundy agreed.
"If Wes keeps coming on like we saw on Sunday night in practice then I could see both guys playing," Monken offered. "I think moving forward, whenever Wes is healthy then you're going to see both players.
"J.W. has earned the right to play. The biggest thing is to come up with the plan of when. Not like, well you're hot and you're in, but finding a good way to mix it in and play both those guys because they've earned that right."
I'm usually against a two-quarterback scenario in just about anyway, but with these two and this offense, I can sure see it working. The key will be the personalities involved with the two quarterbacks, both of whom seem to really get along, and the rest of the offense that seems to have plenty of faith in both guys.
Stay tuned as this could be really interesting and fun.