Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Meet new backup QB Chris Greisen
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING -- The Cowboys signed quarterback Chris Greisen to the practice squad Monday with the goal of perhaps joining the active roster if an injured Jon Kitna can't heal in time to play Sunday afternoon.
If Kitna is unable to play, Stephen McGeewould get his first NFL start and Greisen would be the backup.
Greisen was a seventh-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 1999. He was inactive for three seasons before he was released in 2002 and picked up by the Washington Redskins, who had him for only one season.
He then bounced around from the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe, Green Bay Blizzard of af2 (that's a minor arena league franchise) and with the Dallas Desperados and Georgia Force of the Arena Football League. But when the league folded in 2009, Greisen needed a job and signed with the Florida Tuskers of the new United Football League last summer. He left briefly to play for the Milwaukee Iron, before finishing the season with the Tuskers.
"Awesome, a great experience," Greisen said of the UFL. "A great league for guys like myself who dream about getting back here and put some good film out there. [It] just gives guys an opportunity. That's what NFL Europe was there for before. Unfortunately that folded. But it’s a nice opportunity to allow guys to play."
There is a chance if Kitna is out and McGee gets hurt that the 34-year old Greisen might have to make his NFL debut. In terms of the playbook, Greisen was picking the mind of the all the quarterbacks, quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson and, of course, interim head coach Jason Garrett.
Greisen most likely won't learn the entire playbook, but there will be a certain amount of plays he needs to learn if he's going to play at all.
"It's going to be an extensive, intensive study this week," Greisen said. "I have the playbook. It's not going to be one of those things where I have to know the game plan. I’m sure I have to know some packages. For me, it's football, and the one thing I have to remember it's 11-on-11 out there. I have some God-given instincts, and hopefully I’ll play well."
When the Cowboys went searching for a quarterback on Sunday afternoon, former Desperados coach Will McClay, who is currently the Cowboys Pro Scouting Coordinator, called Greisen and asked about his availability to play for the Cowboys with the UFL season over.
"When [McClay's number] showed up on my cell phone, I was, 'No. No way'," Greisen said. "He said, 'Hey, I got a proposition for you. You wanna come down?' And I was like, 'Really? Heck, yeah.'"
His brother, Nick Greisen played for the New York Giants from 2002-05. Nick Greisen played in the East-West Shrine game with current Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.