Carter Stays on Target

After a strong offseason at Valley Ranch, Quincy Carter showed why he has kept his starting status throughout the whole Chad Hutchinson controversy. However, one preseason game is only the beginning, now he must consistently show the ability to lead this offense in the coming weeks.

You could see it in his eyes Friday evening, Quincy Carter had come into his own as an NFL quarterback. Carter completed 10-of-13 passes for 96 yards and touchdown to help lead the Cowboys to a 20-6 win over the Oakland Raiders.

Simply put, he looked calm and collected on the football field. "It felt good to go out and make plays when things break down," Carter said. "I'm thankful that I've been given the ability to make those types of plays."

The former Georgia star took full advantage of almost every opportunity he had Friday evening. In fact, his only mistake was overthrowing a wide-open Tony McGee in the back of the end zone. The Cowboys would end up settling for a field goal on that particular possession.

Other than the misfire to McGee, the 2nd year quarterback had his way with the Oakland defense whether it was on ground or through the air. "Quincy made plays with his arm and his feet," said Dave Campo said. "That is how he plays. It's hard to see that in practice, but in a game you can see the danger he poses for the defense."

Even though Carter scrambled on two occasions for 24 yards, he generally remained poised in the pocket, calmly going through his progressions and making the correct read. Just as important, when nobody was open, he didn't force the ball downfield. All he did was throw the ball out of bounds to avoid making a costly mistake.

In short, you would think that the Cowboys had themselves a 6-year veteran quarterback leading the offense Friday night. Fortunately, it wasn't a 6-year guy back there calling the plays, it was Quincy Carter, and he's only been the in the league a little over a year now.

At this point in the game, you have to give credit where credit is due. Offensive coordinator Bruce Coslet and quarterbacks Coach Wade Wilson are two of the biggest reasons for Carter's improvement from a year ago. Wilson has been close to Carter throughout training camp, instructing him on him on establishing rhythm with his 3, 5, and 7-step drops.

He also has helped Carter eliminate all those fumbled snaps and wobbly passes we saw early last season. Meanwhile Bruce Coslet has simply made the offense more "understandable." Players are moving with a sense of purpose and no one is questioning the play calling. But don't expect the veteran coach to start patting himself on the back.

"I'm not taking too much credit. I didn't make a single yard. I didn't catch a pass," Coslet said Friday night. "The guys executed. Your offense is always more exciting when guys execute."

When you begin to examine the game at a higher level, you realize that the Cowboys were able to put together a strong evening without the services of starters like Emmitt Smith, Flozell Adams, and Larry Allen. It was the younger players like Quincy Carter, Troy Hambrick, Reggie Swinton, and Antonio Bryant that took control.

Is it a new era for the Dallas Cowboys? Perhaps, but teams usually appear better than they actually are in the preseason.

One thing is for certain; most of the media has now officially jumped on the Quincy Carter bandwagon. The same writers and reporters that were bashing Jerry Jones and Quincy Carter last season are now singing their praises. Funny what one preseason game can do for a player in the National Football League. Funny also how one more can erase it all just as quickly.

While Carter proved himself worthy of the starting quarterback spot come September 8th in Houston, he still has work to do, and it comes in the form of consistent production from the quarterback position. We'll find out over the course of the next few weeks whether or not he's up to it.

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