And this week, Walsh will see a dramatic bump in practice reps, from six of 37 snaps during team drills to 28 snaps. Monken said he expects Walsh to most improve is his drop-back passes, where defenses show more blitzes and coverage looks. And now he's got significant film — Savannah State doesn't count — of himself in a college game to look at.
“How do we speed him up? Like all players, he's only going to get better with reps,” Monken said. “What's he going to get better at? He's going to get better at drop-back stuff, because he's going to get more reps this week.
“When you only get 20 percent of the snaps during the week, you're not going to improve. I think he's gonna see some things. You gain confidence through success, but you gain a lot through failure.”
The extra week should benefit coaches, too, who don't have to start game planning for Texas right away and instead can spend additional time making adjustments for Walsh. A large portion of the load will fall on offensive line coach Joe Wickline, who plays a huge role in crafting the scheme for the running game, and, of course, Monken, who calls the plays.
“Our base system's got to stay the same,” Monken said. “Holy cow, that's what (Walsh) knows. But then we've got to tailor it to him. That's what you're supposed to do. That's the puzzle. That's figuring it out.”
It's for a different reason than Monken originally thought, but the Cowboys' bye week still appears to have come at the perfect time.