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Oklahoma State football: A superstar quarterback can mask a lot of problems

Taking nothing away from J.W. Walsh, the Cowboys' flaws are more noticeable this year because they don't have an NFL-caliber signal caller.
by John Helsley Modified: October 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm •  Published: October 15, 2013

The search for elite quarterbacks is on, and not only in forever longing places like Lawrence and Ames, but Austin and Norman and Stillwater, too.

“Well, they're hard to find,” Gundy said. “There's only 32 of them in the world, for the most part — 90 of them (including backups), give or take a few.”

The Cowboys have two quarterback alums on NFL squads in Weeden and Zac Robinson.

And in defense of Walsh, both operated with better protection up front and each had an NFL receiver on the outside in Justin Blackmon and Dez Bryant.

Still, not long ago, these Cowboys were drawing comparisons to the 2011 OSU squad that won the Big 12 and the Fiesta Bowl. Proven quarterbacks and preseason conference favorite status were the rationale behind such chatter, however misplaced it has turned out to be.

“Obviously, offensively, we're not that team,” said Cowboys wideout Tracy Moore. “We don't have a superstar quarterback or a superstar wide receiver.”

Moore went on to say that this version of the Cowboys can still win, and win big. The method, however, must be different on offense.

“It's attacked in a different way,” Moore said. “The ball is getting spread out more, more guys are getting more touches. The focus is on the whole team.”

The spotlight, however, keeps coming back to quarterback.

Maybe it would be different with West Lunt. Cowboys coaches once thought he offered the promise of an eventual pro.

Or maybe quarterback commitment Mason Rudolph can change the complexion when he arrives in January.

But for now, the Cowboys may just be who they are.

“If you're really, really good at quarterback and you can score a bunch of points, you can make more mistakes,” Gundy said. “If your quarterback is real mature and understands and has a lot of experience, then it's easier to take more chances in the other phases of the game. But if not, you kind of have to manage the game based on what your personnel is.

“Most teams go as their quarterback goes, based on his availability with what he can do in the game.”

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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