“At that point, we felt comfortable with him being able to play at a high level with speed and taking a hit,” Gundy said. “Now you don't ever really know (about) taking a hit (until a game situation), but he got banged around some in practice Wednesday, and so our comfort level went up.”
So Walsh was implemented into the game plan, mostly running plays out of the Cowboys' two-back diamond formation. On OSU's first drive, he converted a first down with his legs, and later rolled to his right and tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kye Staley. In the second quarter, he ran for his own 2-yard score.
It's the change-up role Walsh was originally expected to play this season, but it never materialized until now because of all the quarterback injuries. And it's a job that doesn't necessarily allow him to scramble and make the big play with his legs; but it also doesn't require him to throw the ball downfield.
Walsh said all the right things following Saturday's game — that if this package is how he'll get on the field, then he's all for it. He said it even felt normal to come in the game for certain situations, and then switch out with starter Clint Chelf.
Who knows if Walsh will ultimately be satisfied with that role long-term. But he'll contribute for the Cowboys down the stretch, something that seemed highly unlikely a few weeks ago.
And he'll absolutely be an asset.
“He's a leader on our team, when he plays and when he doesn't play,” Monken said. “He's one of the guys that likes to be out front when he runs (during conditioning). He's positive. He's just built that way.
“He's good for our team. That's just who he is.”