Added Randle: “I had no clue he was hurt in the game. He showed a little bit of signs, but it wasn't signs of a season-ending injury. It's kind of tough.”
But Monken and Gundy were notified Sunday afternoon, following the routine weekly checkup, that the injury was worse than expected. Then word quickly spread around the football facility that the Cowboys' second starting quarterback had gone down, this time for the rest of 2012.
“I was so surprised,” Randle said. “I was like, ‘J-Dub got hurt?' I thought he had gotten hurt (Saturday) night or something.”
So what do the Cowboys do at quarterback moving forward?
Gundy sounded hopeful during Sunday's media teleconference that Lunt could return for Saturday's game against TCU. The true freshman has been practicing for two weeks, and though Gundy said Lunt is not yet 100 percent healthy, he may now be ready to play.
“If we had to go out here and play right now, he could play,” Gundy said. “But he hasn't played in a game.”
Still, Lunt will share the first-team reps this week with junior Clint Chelf, who Monken said was the backup quarterback against ISU, even though Lunt dressed for the second consecutive game. The coaching staff will then make a decision on a starter Wednesday night, based on several factors like Lunt's health, each quarterback's productivity in practice, how the team reacts and who gives the Cowboys the best chance to score points.
Though coaches still believe Lunt is ultimately the long-term answer at quarterback, Chelf could be an intriguing option because of his grasp of the offense and mobility, especially with a depleted receiving corps that continues to get hit with its own injuries.
But no matter who plays quarterback for the Cowboys on Saturday and beyond, Moore can't deny the toughness Walsh displayed while playing hurt — severely hurt — against the Cyclones.
“Once I found out the injury he had,” Moore said, “I was just like, ‘Man, it shows a lot about his character.' It makes me feel good about having a quarterback like that leading us. It's fun to play with a guy like that.”