Cooper Rush: Backup quarterbacks Dallas Cowboys never knew they needed

Cooper Rush has been the Dallas Cowboys’ reserve quarterback for the better part of the past five years, and whether you like him or not, it looks like his time in the Big D will last at least for the remainder of this season. There is a strong possibility that Rush could continue to be Dak Prescott’s backup even beyond this season, but it all comes down to how well he has performed during this period of games to relieve Prescott.

If Dak Prescott wants Rush in the middle room, Rush is here to stay long

Another piece of the puzzle for Rush’s future with the Cowboys is quarterback, Dak Prescott. If Prescott wants the Rush as a long-term backup, the Cowboys are more likely to please and keep their franchise player, regardless of who is available at a free agency or via trade. The happiness and cohesion of the quarterback’s room is an underestimated part of this equation and at this point, nothing has been reported to suggest Prescott and Rush’s relationship is bad. From all the interactions seen in the public eye it seems that they have a strong relationship. Keep that in mind while discussing the reserve rear quarterback because again, Dak Prescott tends to have more traction with the front desk than most.

Cooper Rush is a better backup quarterback then you might think he is, at least that’s how it looks on the field

From an on-field perspective, Rush is your prototype, NFL quarterback. He may not have all the tools in his bag to be a full-time player, but he does have the ability both physically and most importantly from a mental perspective to play well enough in question. Rush seems to have a very high football IQ, and it doesn’t hurt to know offensive playbook Kellen Moore from front to back either. In both starts, Rush seemed very comfortable and because of that high level of comfort with the rules of the game, he was in command of his troops. In both the games he started, he wasn’t doing great, but they were good enough to win those two games.

The game manager with more flair seems to be Rush’s style

The part of Rush that can become a problem while Prescott is away is some of the questionable throws he makes on occasion. Form those throws to have more confidence in his ability compared to his actual ability. He’ll need to be wiser with his throws while facing the elite secondary candidates. Even with those sometimes questionable throws, he really is a game manager which is totally fine considering playing defense and special teams. Rush, when his playing days are over, he can be a good soccer coach.

Statistically speaking, it plays fairly well

Looking at his career from a statistical perspective, his completion percentage is just a shade below 61% which is just below the league’s 2021 average of 64.8%. Early in his career, he averaged 280 passes which is 50 more than the league average per game of 228. The combined effort of both starts also shows that he threw three touchdowns in just one interception which if averaged out. To 1.5 touchdowns to 0.5 interceptions, which runs from last year’s average per game of 1.6 touchdowns to 0.9 interceptions, it has a better contact to interception ratio than the average starting quarterback in the NFL. Understandably, it’s a small sample size, but it shows he’s a qualified soccer player, even if your eyes sometimes tell you otherwise. Speaking of a small sample size, for what it’s worth, he dueled his counterpart, Joe Burrow, last week. That’s not to say he’s as good as Burrow, but getting ahead of him head on is another positive sign.

The road ahead may be bumpy until Duck returns, but a record .500 is sure to come while he’s off the table

Expecting Rush to play high-profile football like Prescott is unfair. Prescott wouldn’t be the starter, and Rush wouldn’t be his backup, if Rush was the better player. This is why the depth chart looks the way it has since the two were on the list together. This isn’t a hit on Rush, but it’s very clear who the better player is. Meanwhile, during Duck’s absence, the key to Dallas to continue competing is with Rush playing his role as game director, special teams staying steady, and defense flip-flopping. What could hold up the Cowboys is if Rush keeps making some of those questionable throws. It was a stroke of luck because there were no more objections in his stats book. There will likely be bumps in the road while Prescott recovers, but if the Cowboys are sitting around .500 when he returns, that’s a good sign that qualifying hopes are still alive. It’s going to be a very fun stretch, so buckle up and let’s see what happens.

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