The Dallas Cowboys’ poor performance against the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday wasn’t exactly helped by the team’s backup quarterbacks who combined for three interceptions on the night. Cooper Rush’s early pick six to Patrick Peterson certainly didn’t help Cowboys Nation remain calm.
As it’s bound to happen when you play under the lights of America’s Team (even if you’re a backup), both sophomore Cooper Rush and fifth-round rookie Mike White have been very criticized for their poor showing and the backup quarterback situation is now a widely discussed topic among fans with many convinced that the team should look for outside help to upgrade the position.
Let me start off by saying that I strongly believe most of this talk has been exaggerated. Cooper Rush made bad decisions and terrible throws on Sunday, but he’s been pretty decent in training camp and was impressive last preseason.
As for Mike White, even though the interception he threw last game felt terrible because it was the eight time the Cowboys turned the ball over, the truth is he wasn’t bad when he was on the field. White actually completed 17 out 22 passes for 157 yards.
The majority of his throws were accurate and he looked very comfortable throwing the football. There is no question that last Sunday he played better than Cooper Rush. And it wasn’t really close. None of the backups have gotten preseason action with the first team offense but Rush has had a better supporting cast around him than White has.
It definitely wouldn’t be fair to hand Mike White the backup quarterback job just because he played better on the third week of preseason but I’m convinced he’s earned the right to start when the Cowboys take the field in Houston for their preseason finale.
Let him play with Rod Smith in the backfield and the better group of wide receivers and tight ends. Even though both signal callers will be playing with disastrous offensive lines, watching White play with a better supporting cast – specifically the same cast Rush has surrounded himself with – would be very interesting.
Besides, what would the Cowboys be risking? Nothing at all. If Rush had continued to build on his surprising 2017 preseason performance, I’d understand if they wanted to give him the most playing time they could. But that hasn’t been the case. Despite the first two games not being as bad as the last one, Rush has been decent but not special.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. At the end of the day, he is a backup quarterback. Not a starting-caliber thrower fighting for Dak’s job. The sooner we admit this, the better we will feel about the backup QB situation in Dallas.
For now, I hope the coaching staff give this preseason’s finale a little twist by letting the Western Kentucky product take control of the second-team offense instead of the third.