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Cooper Rush Provides Affordable Security as Backup QB in 2022

Last year's came with a lot of angst about who would be the backup . But while the have many concerns preparing for 2022, appears to be an affordable and reliable option to retain as QB2 next season.

Rush's eventual rise to the backup spot was a big surprise last year. The general consensus was that it would be , who shined in his one 2020 appearance against Pittsburgh. Others thought maybe would develop enough in his second season to threaten Gilbert's claim.

Cooper was still in the mix, having rejoined the Cowboys in the middle of the after devastated the position. But given that Dallas had left him go once before, Rush was an afterthought in the QB2 discussion.

That seemed especially true when the Cowboys didn't seem entirely thrilled with their options, bringing in veteran backups like and Brett Hundley for interviews after the draft. Had one of those guys been signed, Rush was probably the one who would've lost his roster spot to them.

But things changed during and . Gilbert wasn't running away with the job as many thought and it was Rush, not DiNucci, who was stepping up and looking the most competent. By the final preseason game, Rush had done enough to earn the start and eventually was named backup QB while Gilbert and DiNucci failed to make the official roster.

After five seasons in obscurity and fighting for a spot in the NFL, Cooper Rush finally got a chance to show his stuff in a meaningful game. He got his first career start in Week 8 against the due to a short-term calf for .

Not only did the Cowboys win that game but Rush looked great in the process. He passed for 325 yards and two touchdowns, albeit with one interception, and led a comeback drive to give Dallas a crucial win on the road.

Rush looked better that day than Gilbert did against the Steelers in 2020. He validated years of developmental work by the Cowboys since they signed him as an undrafted rookie in 2017.

Now Cooper is a veteran with real-game experience and a very modest $1 million hit. In an offseason that finds Dallas struggling against the cap, Rush gives them bargain value at an important backup position.

Sure, the Cowboys would love to have more experienced depth like in 2020 or what we've seen from guys like and last year. But those guys cost a lot more; Keenum carried a $7 million cap hit for the Browns in 2021 and Minshew was about $2.5 million for the Eagles.

Given the financial factor, Cooper Rush is likely to return as the leading candidate for Dak's backup in 2022. But unlike in 2017-2019 when we were going on preseason games and trust in the coaches and , now we've seen what Rush can do under real pressure. He's a far more valuable asset now than ever before, and he's a great deal for the cap-strapped Cowboys.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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siempre

Let’s no go overboard.
Cooper has had one good start…in a game where Minnesota player it’s worst game of the season.
He could not hold up for a several game stretch.

Cowboys fan

I think I’d rather have Will Grier as a backup for Dak than Cooper Rush!! Grier has way more real game experience and I know he can win games!! I’d even take Jeff Driskel over Cooper Rush, but I’m sure he’ll be a little more expensive than Grier will be!! If I’m not mistaken, Grier only has a cap hit of a little over a million next season himself!! But even though I’d rather have Grier as a backup to Dak, I still won’t be much more comfortable with him than Rush!! I’ll never be comfortable with our backup QBs unless we can get a Case Keenum or a Jeff Driskel or even a Gardner Menshew!!

Cowboys fan

One QB I’d really like to have as a backup is Blake Bortles!! He’s actually taken his team to the playoffs!! A team btw that hasn’t done anything since he left!! But Cooper Rush isn’t a QB I’d be comfortable with!!

Cowboy Fan Ed

I agree with you guys! CR is definitely not our answer! Sure he had a good game against the Vikings but if Dak was to go down for an extended period of time he can n not carry our team! Cowboy Fan I wouldn’t mind seeing BB ,RG lll, just somebody that has more experience than CR! But knowing Jerry and how he gets close to his players I doubt if we get anybody else!

Todd

The only qb that needs changing isn’t getting changed.

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