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LAR 13, DAL 10: QB Cooper Rush Emerges in Cowboys Loss

With Nation still reeling from the news yesterday, the team hopped down from to Los Angeles to face the Rams in their second of five games. In a fumble-filled game that felt more like hot potato than football, the music finally stopped on the Cowboys as they fell short 13-10.

Cooper Rush
QB Cooper Rush

The story of this game for the Cowboys wasn’t the fumbling (four for Dallas, five for Los Angeles) or a meaningless preseason loss. The major takeaway was the play of undrafted Cooper Rush, who was easily the most impressive Cowboys passer on the night.

Outplaying both of his veteran teammates, and , Rush entered the game to start the third quarter and put up 104 yards and a touchdown on 9-of-11 passing. His touchdown throw to Rico Gathers was perfection; a 25-yard beauty dropped over the defender and right into Gathers’ arms as he entered the endzone.

While Moore and McCown both looked rattled at times and had poor delivery on some throws, Rush built on last week’s decent debut with a far stronger showing. This isn’t to say that he’s anywhere close to taking someone’s job, but Cooper may be changing our assumptions about how many quarterbacks the Cowboys will keep in 2017.

Other Notes

  • It was very encouraging to see how Darren McFadden performed tonight after last week’s slow start, especially given what’s happening with Elliott. McFadden showed the same athletic ability we remember for 2015 as he got 28 yards on six carries and had one 8-yard reception. It probably helped that and were playing to start the game, as opposed to last week.
  • Rico Gathers continues to make noise, finishing the night with four catches for 47 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. We saw him playing out of the typical spots but also lining up in the slot, and his mismatch problems for the opposition were clear. The question for Rico isn’t if he’ll make the team this year, but just how high up the TE he’ll be.
  • got to unburden himself a little with a nice sack on Sean Mannion during the first quarter. Taco had little trouble powering through the offensive and getting a free run at Mannion, taking him just in front of his own goal line. After all of the negativity coming from the , it was great to see Charlton get some positive attention.
  • Sixth-round rookie WR was having a nice showing on three catches for 41 yards but lost some points for an unforced, open-field fumble. With the top-five WR spots seemingly decided for Dallas, Brown and the other prospects can’t afford many bad steps if they want to force the team to keep six guys.
  • Another sixth-round guy, Xavier Woods, led the team with seven tackles and was visible through the game. Teammate wasn’t far behind, though, with five tackles and a nice return on a fumble recovery. We’ve yet to see anything out of veteran , giving the younger players the right now for the backup roles.
  • While we’re excited for ’s debut for many reasons, perhaps my biggest one right now is to see a new kick and . is just a camp body, and he plays like it.
  • While his pass protection left much to be desired, QB Luke McCown’s play wasn’t far behind. He didn’t look good on the throws that weren’t affected by pressure. Granted, he’s only been with the team for less than two weeks. However, he still takes up a spot that could be going to a younger guy with upside.
  • did not get to build on last week’s performance, only getting one carry and one catch in the game. There weren’t a lot of carries to go around anyway; McFadden and combined for just 11 rushing attempts themselves. This was more likely an anomaly due to the flow of the game than any issue with Smith.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by 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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