LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. - Thursday, the Redskins play at the Dallas Cowboys with first place in the NFC East division on the line.
Washington quarterback Colt McCoy, a Texas native and Lone Star legend, will make his first start since December 2014. The last game he started and won? October 27, 2014 - a Redskins victory at Dallas.
"We're paying him pretty good to be our backup for a reason in case something like this happens, we feel very comfortable," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. McCoy replaces Alex Smith, who broke his leg in Sunday's loss vs. Houston.
"They probably just remember him playing in Cleveland, maybe a little bit of preseason [and in first year here, but I've seen him progress as a player, as a person throughout his stint here," Gruden added. "I like his competitive nature and I think he brings a lot to this football team. He's made our team better as a result of him being out here working with the young kids on scout team and now it's his opportunity to work with the ones (first unit) and I'm excited to see it."
"He's a professional," Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said of McCoy. "He prepares really well. He stays ready. I really admire the way he takes care of his body, studies film - being a backup QB is one of the toughest jobs in sports."
"Each week he's out there busting his tail," Redskins running back Adrian Peterson said of his fellow Texan McCoy. "You see him out there - you'd think he's playing on Sundays the way he practices."
"I've been on the bench a long time," McCoy admitted. "So I`m excited as ever to go out there and compete. I rely on a lot of the preparation I've put in the last several years when Kirk [Cousins] was here. Kirk never got hurt. He played well, but I was always ready to play. You know the same thing with Alex [Smith]. Now my preparation is going to be key this week, but at the same time, I'm fortunate that we've played Dallas once already this year so I've been through that game prep, that preparation. I mean it’s a huge game let's be honest."
The Cowboys (5-and-5) host the Redskins (6-and-4) at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at AT&T Stadium.