Contrary to what many expected, the Cowboys have stayed afloat thus far after the loss of quarterback Dak Prescott in Week 1. With Cooper Rush at quarterback, the Cowboys team enters Week 4 with a 2-1 record and with high chances of adding one more victory against the Washington Commanders. Of course, this opens up a dilemma: Should Rush continue as the starter even when Prescott recovers from his injury?
Let’s review the situation. It’s true that in these weeks without Prescott, the Cowboys’ offense has maintained a somewhat conservative style of play. And let’s not forget the help he has received from the defense either. However, Rush has stood out for remaining calm and responding at key moments to guide the team to victory. That’s how we saw it in the final quarters against the Bengals and the Giants.
In this way, Cooper Rush has kept a team that many viewed as 0-3 at the moment in contention. Meanwhile, Dak Prescott is making progress in his recovery, and there are those who estimate that he could return for the week 5 game against the Rams.
But despite this, should Rush continue to start instead of Prescott if the Cowboys keep winning?
RT IF YOU DID NOT BELIEVE
COOPER RUSH TO NOAH BROWN TOUCHDOWN!
— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) September 18, 2022
Arguments in favor of the change in ownership
Aside from his calm playstyle, the stats favor Cooper Rush without needing to be impressive. So far this season, the quarterback has completed 47 of 75 passes, throwing for 514 yards and two touchdowns. Besides, he hasn’t been intercepted so far.
But that is not all. So far, the #10 from Dallas remains undefeated in the NFL. In addition, Rush became the first non-drafted QB to win his first three games as a starter by throwing for more than 750 yards since Kurt Warner in 1999 with the Rams.
Buenos dias. The Cowboys are now 2-1 on the season after beating the Giants last night ✅
AND Cooper Rush is the first undrafted QB since Kurt Warner to start their career 3-0 👀pic.twitter.com/fcRIbQNkDA
— Dimers (@DimersCom) September 27, 2022
It’s true that the Cowboys’ coaching staff has managed to couple the offensive game to favor Rush. This, it is worth noting, also giving greater weight to the ground attack. However, the #10 has felt better so far when compared to Dak Prescott’s performance in Week 1 against the Buccaneers. Or, if we go further, with his performance in the second half of the regular season and in the 2021 playoffs.
On the fan side, a vast majority don’t think highly of Prescott right now, and they have their reasons. Unlike Rush, Dak was very nervous and ineffective in his last few starts. In them, he also did not make key plays to win games. And that is something that his support has done.
the #49ers pick off Dak Prescott, increasing their win probability by 7.5%.
— EdjSports (@edjsports) January 16, 2022
Arguments against the change of ownership
Although Cooper Rush’s performances have led Dallas to a positive record so far, a change in starting quarterback is unlikely. A dilemma at the position like the one that occurred in 2016 with Dak Prescott and Tony Romo isn’t likely. And it doesn’t matter that Jerry Jones wants to stir up controversy at the position.
It’s true that Prescott’s stats are his biggest asset. Aside from them, Dak offers more mobility than Rush in the offensive game. And in today’s NFL, having a mobile quarterback is always a good thing. However, Prescott hasn’t performed well in his last 12 games against winning teams. And that is something that he always weighs.
All I know is this: I’m certainly not saying Cooper Rush is better than Dak Prescott … BUT HE HAS PLAYED BETTER IN HIS THREE STARTS, TWO ON THE ROAD, THAN DAK HAS AGAINST GOOD TEAMS OVER HIS LAST 12 GAMES.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) September 27, 2022
— The Volume (@TheVolumeSports) September 27, 2022
Of course, there is also the economic factor. Even if Rush proves better than Prescott, Prescott will still be a starter because of his $40 million-a-year salary. It doesn’t make any sense to bench the highest-paid player on the team. And although Dak does not offer a good level, the leadership will insist that he play yes or yes. In fact, that’s something we saw in the 2021 season with running back Ezekiel Elliott, another top-paid player in Dallas.
On the other hand, both the coaching staff and the Cowboys players assure that Prescott will continue to be the starter once he recovers from his thumb injury. They even publicly dismissed Jerry Jones’ “attempts” last week to create controversy at quarterback. Such was the case with Zeke Elliott, who called Jones’s words “marketing.”
Ezekiel Elliott dismissed Jerry Jones words as marketing. He said Jones is trying to sell, compared it to click bait of national media https://t.co/qVUakMD4dy
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) September 22, 2022
Along those same lines, head coach Mike McCarthy quelled the controversial attempts created by Jones by ratifying Prescott as his starting quarterback. He thus let it be seen during a press conference last Friday.
“Clearly, to everyone in the locker room and in the building including Jerry (Jones), Dak is our quarterback.”McCarthy said about it. “We want Cooper (Rush) to be as successful as possible, so this (controversy) stops there.”
Mike McCarthy shoots down Jerry Jones controversy, back Dak:“Clearly, everybody in our locker room and everybody in the building, Jerry (Jones) included, Dak is our quarterback,” McCarthy said. “We want Cooper to be successful as possible. So, I think it stops right there.” https://t.co/u8jVfvY7h5
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) September 23, 2022
Although many reporters and analysts dismissed Jerry Jones’s attempt to create controversy at the position, the seed has been sown. And Cooper Rush’s performance in Dak Prescott’s absence is helping to germinate it.
Realistically, there’s little chance Rush will remain a starter over Prescott once he returns. While this means that Dallas has a guaranteed backup quarterback, it obviously puts the spotlight and criticism on Dak. So it’s no wonder the #4 is looking to hasten his return to the starting lineup. This, it is worth indicating, although the team is playing well without him.
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Should Cooper Rush be Dallas’ starting QB even when Dak Pres