The Dallas Cowboys have trusted Cooper Rush as their backup quarterback for four seasons. That faith has never been tested until tonight, and Rush passed with a 20-16 road win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Dak Prescott sat out with ongoing soreness in his calf, a lingering injury from the final play two weeks again against the Patriots. All signs point to Dak being good enough to play in a crucial game, so the Cowboys clearly were willing to risk this one by going with QB2.
Rush was far from perfect; this one would've been a blowout with Prescott under center. But after a shaky first half, Cooper was much sharper in the second and finished with 325 yards and two touchdowns.
His last play was his best; a perfectly-placed fade to Amari Cooper in the back of the endzone for the game-winning touchdown. That was the cap for a big night from Amari as well with 122 yards on eight catches. CeeDee Lamb wasn't far behind with six catches for 112 yards.
While Ezekiel Elliott only had 50 rushing yards on 16 carries, his last touch was a crucial play as he helped set up the final TD with a 15-yard reception and strong RAC on 3rd-and-11. Zeke broke multiple tackles to move the chains and keep the drive alive.
But despite those heroics on offense, no single player tonight was more impressive than rookie LB Micah Parsons. The 11 tackles, four for losses, and some pass breakups were enough to be proud of, but Parsons made some of these plays in key moments to stop drives and led a strong overall defensive effort.
Dallas held Minnesota to just 278 total offensive yards. They only surrendered two field goals in the second half, keeping the score manageable enough for Rush and the offense to catch up once they found their rhythm.
Randy Gregory had a sack, his fifth on the year, and Anthony Brown showed up with some big stops. Unfortunately, Trevon Diggs' INT streak finally ended.
The Cowboys are now 6-1 and in a soft spot of their schedule with the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons up next. Dak Prescott should be good to go next week, but we'll see if this win and Cooper Rush's performance push Dallas to keep playing it safe.