His transformation has been well-documented — going from projected starter early last spring to third string on the depth chart by the season opener.
As fate had it, injuries gave Chelf a shot to earn the starting spot. And Yurcich is hoping that experience pays off for the Cowboys this season.
“There’s no substitute for experience,” Yurcich said. “He’s very knowledgeable of the offense. He’s very level-headed, he’s got a great demeanor about him. He’s poised — never gets too high, never gets down on himself.”
He may be the No. 1 guy, but it doesn’t get any easier for Chelf. Each day he knows that his job is up for grabs, with Lunt and J.W. Walsh consistently trying to find some way to overtake the senior.
“There’s really no pressure,” Chelf said “That kind of competition just makes the whole team better. I know that the other two guys are coming for me, but my job is to make sure that my job is safe. It’s mine to lose.”
No doubt, the quarterback competition could heat up again after Saturday if Chelf struggles and Lunt or Walsh thrive under Yurcich’s new offense.
But for now, Smith said he doesn’t see Chelf giving up his starting role.
“Just playing against him (in high school) was incredible,” Smith said. “In high school, he was actually a running type of quarterback. Once he got here, he evolved more into a passer which is a pretty good thing because now he can do whatever.”