Last season when starting quarterback Mason Rudolph was called off the field so senior backup and run quarterback specialist J.W. Walsh could present a run threat and help the Cowboys navigate situations in short yardage or in the score zone, Rudolph was always encouraging and supportive as Walsh had always been supportive of him.
By the end of the season, Rudolph was still encouraging but was antsy about being the complete quarterback, being the unquestioned leader, and having everyone from teammates to staff to media to fans recognize him as the quarterback and the leader.
“He has always been a leader from the first day he arrived,” offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich has said of Rudolph.
“I have been a leader. I always try to make sure that teammates know that I have them and this team first and foremost in my mind,” Rudolph said. “I think of this team first and I have always done everything in my power to be a good leader.”
There has been no question about that this summer. With the exception of a mid-summer trip to steamy Thibodaux, Louisiana for the Manning Passing Academy, Rudolph has been in Stillwater to direct workouts with the team in the evening. He has been an example in the weight room and with workouts as evidenced by the shape he is in. He has also been a frequent visitor to the football offices to study video all summer.
His career numbers of 12-3 as a starter with 4,623 passing yards and 27 touchdowns versus 13 interceptions and a completion percentage of 61.4 percent all point to success.
Rudolph is intent on being the all-purpose quarterback that does whatever the team needs to have success. He has been close to the receivers and tried to know them on and off the field. He has talked about “love” being a big part of the chemistry with this team throughout the spring and into the summer, and he says he feels the team is closer than it has been at any point in his time in Stillwater.
He understands the test will come this fall. He talked about that and other topics during a visit with us at Big 12 Media Days in Dallas.