Connect with us

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys QB Cooper Rush Has a New Fight in 2018

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Cooper Rush

Before the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys' Cooper Rush had a seemingly secure position as the backup quarterback. But after Dallas drafted Western Kentucky's Mike White in the fifth round, Rush's return to the number-two spot on the depth chart isn't nearly as certain.

In fact, Cooper's spot on the 53-man roster is now potentially in jeopardy.

Last year, the undrafted rookie Rush put on a show in the preseason and forced his way onto the roster. This alone was an uphill battle; Dallas would've probably rather had just two QBs with Dak Prescott and Kellen Moore to save a roster spot for another position.

You may recall names like Matt Moore, Alex Tanney, and Dustin Vaughan, who themselves had nice preseasons as backup QB prospects for the Cowboys. But Dallas risked putting all of them on the practice squad, and subsequently watched Moore and Tanney get poached by other teams.

Whether it was a shift in front off philosophy, a lack of confidence in Kellen Moore, or just Rush being better than those other guys, the Cowboys didn't risk loosing Cooper. They started the year with three QBs on the roster; the first hurdle cleared by Cooper Rush.

The next hurdle came in Week 7 when Rush jumped Moore on the depth chart to become the backup quarterback. Kellen was cut a few days later, leaving Cooper as the sole QB behind Dak Prescott for the rest of the year.

From undrafted rookie to QB2, taking out a coach's favoring in the process, Cooper Rush was a great story in 2017. But now he gets a new challenge, perhaps even tougher, in his second season.

Dallas Cowboys Draft QB Mike White With 171st Pick

Dallas Cowboys QB Mike White

Many felt that Mike White was one of the Cowboys' best value picks in the most recent draft. Acquired in the fifth round, White was projected as a Day 2 pick by several scouts with real starting potential in the NFL.

He certainly looks the part. Unlike the hobbit that Cooper Rush was dealing with last year, White is a prototypical 6'5" with pro arm talent.

 

The threat of Mike White to Rush's job security has a lot do with team management and how they want to handle the QB position. How many chairs will be available when the music stops?

Would the Cowboys be willing to risk Cooper Rush on the practice squad if they're confident enough in White?

Draft status isn't everything, but it's certainly something. And while Rush appears to be a gem as an undrafted guy, White has being a drafted player and a four-year rookie contract working in his favor.

If Dallas were to cut Mike, they lose that four-year deal. Even if they later recalled him from the practice squad, he would now be on a one-year deal and go into the cycle of Exclusive Rights and Restricted free agency.

That's if some other team doesn't poach him. If Mike White was seen as a Round 2 or 3 prospect by others, he would likely get scooped up.

Ideally, Dallas won't have reason or desire to cut either player. If Rush and White both perform well over the summer, the Cowboys will enjoy their burgeoning talent pool at QB and continue to grow both players. Perhaps one will become a trade asset in the near future.

But if Cooper Rush stumbles at all, and the team still prefers to keep just two quarterbacks, he could find himself on the chopping block a lot faster than you might think.



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!

Advertisement
Comments

Player News

BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka

Jess Haynie

Published

on

George Iloka

The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.

He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.

Todd Archer on Twitter

The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc

This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.

However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.

Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.

We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.



Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys

What to Expect from Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Group in 2019

John Williams

Published

on

Amari Cooper

In a span of a week, the Dallas Cowboys have solidified their wide receiver group with the resigning of Tavon Austin to a one year deal and the signing of former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb. Despite the loss of Cole Beasley, the Cowboys have a created a really good group of receivers for Quarterback Dak Prescott to throw to.

Cobb joins a really nice group of players that includes incumbent starters on the outside in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup as well as solid depth players in Austin, Allen Hurns, and Noah Brown. Throw in Cedric Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys sixth round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft and the Cowboys may have one of the deeper receiving corps in the NFL.

The question is, how will the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff delineate the roles?

Let's take a look.

Outside Receivers

As I mentioned before, the Dallas Cowboys are returning their top two options on the outside in Amari Cooper, who is the X wide receiver and Michael Gallup, the Z receiver. Both players will go into week one as the starters at their respective positions in two-wide receiver formations.

Despite some of the overthrows from Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup, Gallup had a really nice rookie season and got better as the year went along, even leading the Cowboys in receiving in the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, Gallup recorded the first 100 yard game of his career. Sure, it was in an attempt to comeback by the Dallas Cowboys, but it is impressive nonetheless. His touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks the week before was clutch. The Cowboys needed that to take the lead at the end of the first half. 2018 was only the beginning for Michael Gallup. He showed an ability to win with a full offseason to work with Dak Prescott, their chemistry and connection should only improve.

As for Cooper, his presence was felt right away as the offense just looked different once he stepped on the field. It's no coincidence that Dak Prescott's two best career games in terms of passing yardage came with Cooper in 2018. He's such a threat that he opens up space for the rest of the wide receiver group. His route running, speed, ability to run after the catch make him a threat to score any time he's targeted.

Behind Cooper and Gallup, you have options in the event that one of them gets hurt. Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Noah Brown are all players who took snaps on the outside for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 and did so with effectiveness. Hurns best game of the year came just before the Cooper deal was made as he went for five receptions for 75 yards.

Tavon provided down field speed on several occasions and provides some gadget quality that the Dallas Cowboys love to have. Noah Brown is a player that the Dallas Cowboys love to deploy as a blocker in the running game. While it looked like he might get more run in the passing game in 2019, the depth additions will limit him again to a specialty role. If needed, though, he could be an option to take snaps on the outside as his big frame allows him to box out defensive backs down the field.

There will be snaps on the outside for someone when the Cowboys go to 11 personnel, because of Amari Cooper's ability to slide into the slot.

Slot Receiver

Obviously, the writing is on the wall with who the Dallas Cowboys are planning on deploying in the slot as things stand right now, and that's Randall Cobb.

While Cobb should be penciled in as the starter in the slot, I doubt that he's going to get 100% of the snaps there in 11 or 10 personnel groupings. Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson could all push for playing time from the slot.

Last month, I wrote a piece about Allen Hurns and his effectiveness in the slot and why the Cowboys should feature him there. With Cobb coming off an injury laden season, the Cowboys would be wise to give some snaps to Hurns along with Tavon Austin.

In Jacksonville, Hurns was incredibly effective from the slot running posts, slants, and ins and outs. His size and route running made him an effective mismatch against linebackers, safeties, and cornerbacks alike. Remember, it wasn't long ago that Hurns had a 1,000 yard season with Blake Bortles at the helm.

Tavon Austin's quickness is an asset that could be very effective in the slot as well. Though he lacks size, he's a player that opposing defenses have to account for because of his ability to make big plays once the ball's in his hands.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

The Cowboys haven't been shy about carrying seven wide receivers on their 53-man rosters and it's possible, though unlikely that they could do it again in 2018. As things stand now, I see Noah Brown and Cedric Wilson as the potential odd men out. Of course, this could all get reshuffled if the Dallas Cowboys use a top 100 pick on a wide receiver in the draft.

With Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Randall Cobb only under contract through the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to invest at the position despite the strength of the position in 2019.



Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys

Report: Dallas Cowboys Set to Meet with Safety George Iloka

John Williams

Published

on

Why Cowboys Should Acquire Recently Released S George Iloka

As the Dallas Cowboys continue the process of building a roster capable of taking them back to the playoffs, and hopefully to a Super Bowl, this next season, they’re bringing in another safety to try and strengthen their top 10 defense. This time it’s free agent safety George Iloka, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings.

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys are set to meet with

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys are hosting former #Vikings and #Bengals safety George Iloka for a visit tomorrow, source said. They're still looking to add in the secondary.

It will be the third meeting this week that they’ve had with a veteran safety after hosting recently resigned Indianapolis’s colts Safety Clayton Geathers and former Kansas City Chiefs Safety Eric Berry.

The Cowboys feel really good about Xavier Woods at safety, but definitely could use some depth at the position as they head toward the 2019 NFL Draft.

Iloka is coming off a season where he was relegated to a reserve role for the Vikings. In five of the last six seasons, Iloka’s played all 16 games, and the one season he didn’t, he played 12. He has nine career interceptions, and has three seasons with more than 70 total tackles.

Back in August of last year, Brian Martin argued that the Dallas Cowboys should pursue Iloka after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals. He would play the strong or box safety role in the Cowboys defense if they were to come to an agreement.

Stay tuned for more Free Agency coverage from us here at InsideTheStar.com.



Continue Reading



Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending