So far, all the talk about quarterbacks, free agency, and the Dallas Cowboys has largely centered around the Dak Prescott contract saga. Certainly that should be the focal point, but the Cowboys also need a backup quarterback. Last year’s backup, Cooper Rush, is a restricted free agent. The Cowboys have decided to bring him back and have tendered him.
The Cowboys have tendered restricted free agent QB Cooper Rush. As Dak Prescott’s negotiations continue, Rush could be in line to take significant offseason reps.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 13, 2020
Rush was an UDFA and the Cowboys have placed an original-round tender on him. The cost for that in 2020 is a little over $2.1 million. Todd Archer noted this earlier this offseason when it was rumored this was going to happen.
The Cowboys are likely to use the second-round tender on restricted free agent tight end Blake Jarwin, which should cost around $3.3 million, according to sources. The Cowboys spoke with Jarwin’s agent, Kelli Masters, last week at the combine about a potential long-term deal. Also, it appears the Cowboys will tender backup quarterback Cooper Rush, which would cost about $2.1 million. Both players were undrafted free agents in 2017.
The Cowboys are expected to place the higher tender on Jarwin to protect him from being poached by another team and not getting anything in return. It’s unlikely any team would come for Rush so it’s almost a given that he will return to the Cowboys. If another team did get Rush signed to an offer sheet and the Cowboys didn’t match, there would be no compensation in draft picks since he was an UDFA.
For clarification, here is who qualifies as a restricted free agent.
A restricted free agent is any player with an expiring contract who has exactly three accrued NFL seasons. An accrued season is defined as a player being on a team for at least six regular season games, although practice squad designation doesn’t count. The reserve physically unable to perform (PUP) list for non-football injuries also doesn’t count as an accrued season.