During yesterday's press conference, the Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy named Cooper Rush the backup quarterback behind Dak Prescott.
Rush and Will Grier re-signed to the Cowboys practice squad yesterday after being released on Tuesday. Prescott is the only active QB on the 53-man roster as we sit and wait for one or both to jump back to the active roster, but what did Rush do that Grier did not this off-season to allow him to earn the backup role?
In the battle for the backup QB position, Grier looked solid the entire preseason. His numbers did not wow anybody, but the traits he displayed throughout the playing time he received compared to Rush looked more fluid. He moved through reads quickly, had fast progression in the pocket, and seemed comfortable throwing the football, but he also had extended work, while Rush only saw the limited snaps.
Cooper Rush is the No. 2 QB behind Dak Prescott, according to Mike McCarthy.
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 31, 2022
The staff is sticking with Rush for now; maybe it was the win Rush produced on the road last season against the Vikings, stepping in for Prescott when he was out due to injury. He won a game on the road against a team with its starting QB behind center. That could be a testament to Dallas's talent last season, but Rush led a game-winning drive that ended with a touchdown pass to seal the victory.
Another idea to consider is that he has been in the system longer, and right now, he is the safer answer for QB2. In a flashback to 2017, Rush entered the year as the third-string behind Prescott and Kellen Moore. He finished the preseason 38-51, with 398 passing yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions. In week six, Rush was named the QB2, and Moore found himself on the practice squad. If Grier shows up on the practice squad and Rush struggles with the second team or is asked to step in if anything happens to Prescott, we could see a similar situation unfold.
To you disgruntled Grier fans, remember what happened in 2017. After lighting it up in his first preseason, Rush entered the year as QB3 behind Dak and Moore but eventually was named backup in WK 6.
The evaluation process doesn't end here. Depth charts are fluid until February.
— Jess Haynie (@CowboysAddicts) September 1, 2022
As we noticed last season, the backup role is important enough to discuss who it should be. Prescott had to miss a game, and Rush stepped in and got a victory. I thought Grier would overtake him, but as mentioned above, the same situation could make its way to the forefront; the depth chart is constantly changing, especially with backups.