“Credit to him,” Cowboy offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. “He's worked really hard over the summer, and it sure looked like it paid off today.”
Walsh has worked throughout the offseason on his throwing mechanics. He knew from the time he arrived on campus that his motion was neither as sound nor as consistent as it needed to be, so worked extensively with Yurcich on footwork and body posture among other things.
Walsh has noticed a difference. He feels better. Stronger. More confident.
Teammates have noticed a difference, too.
“If he saw any little thing that looked like it was a little cloudy, he'd usually try to run,” Stewart said of the old Walsh. “But he's gotten to a place where he feels comfortable with his arm. He can place it right over that guy instead of thinking, ‘Run.'”
Walsh could provide a heck of a combination for the Cowboys. Since they installed the air raid, they've had quarterbacks who could throw exceptionally well but couldn't run a lick (Weeden and Wes Lunt), a quarterback who could throw well and could run a bit (Clint Chelf) and a quarterback who could run exceptionally well but couldn't throw very well (the old Walsh). They've never had a guy who was truly a dangerous threat with both his arm and his legs.
The new Walsh is.
“With him at quarterback, if everybody stays healthy” Stewart said, “we have a shot at it all.”
That is big talk, but why not? An already promising season looks even brighter after Saturday. Walsh can run and gash a defense like he did against Mississippi State, or he can throw and pick apart a defense like he did against UTSA. That will make him and this Cowboy offense a nightmare for every opponent that remains.
No wonder Walsh was in such a good mood outside the locker room on the way to the bus.
“It's good being able to see us able to run the ball down people's throats and then throw it around and mix it up,” he acknowledged. “To have both of those in our back pockets, it just makes us that much more dangerous.”
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.