When news broke week one that Dak Prescott injured his thumb and was going to need surgery, a million thoughts crept into the mind of many in Cowboys Nation, and most weren’t good. Not even a full game into the 2022 season and there was feeling that all was lost before it even got started. Couple that with the fact that many of us were hoping that Will Grier was able to win the backup job out of camp, and there was a despondent mood around the Cowboys.
Fast forward three weeks and a two-game winning streak later, and Cowboys fans are happy to have been wrong. Cooper Rush has been exactly what this Cowboys team needed in Dak’s absence. He has taken control of the offense, done what has been asked of him, and has played confidently during his time on the field. Under no circumstances is he going to take Dak’s job; that is something even he understands. However, what he has done for this team is keep the season afloat. With Dak out a month plus, things could have gotten ugly fast, but thanks to this elite defense and a backup QB that understands his assignment, the team is heading into a week four matchup looking for their third win in a row.
Through Rush’s first two starts of this season, he is averaging - a completion percentage of 64.5, 225 yards passing, one passing touchdown, and a QB rating of 96.9. Beyond that, the most important number of them all is zero. As in zero interceptions and zero fumbles. He is protecting the football, letting the defense do their thing, and finding ways to score enough points to win ball games. These numbers will not wow you, and yeah, maybe they’re not the numbers we are use to seeing, but without question it’s been enough to hold down the fort in Prescott’s absence.
Simply put, Rush has been everything you hope your QB2 is and the Cowboys are lucky to have him on the roster, and they now know for sure they have a guy who is capable of playing winning football when his number is called.
Week 4 underrated star
Everything discussed above is why Cooper Rush is this weeks underrated star. He needs to be that once again. Washington is a beatable football team, but it is an important football game that the Cowboys cannot afford to take lightly. 1 PM ET starts can lend themselves to letdowns for this team, especially the first one of the year. Rush and the boys cannot afford to come out sloppy and inject life into a team that is inferior to them. The Commanders certainly have enough talent to beat them, but if the Cowboys take control of the game early and continue to play smart, it is one they should be able to handle.
This game in the big picture is a critical game for this season. Not only does a win this week improve the Cowboys to 3-1 and 2-0 in the division, it gives them a little more of a cushion as the upcoming schedules gets more difficult. The following two weeks are against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, and the hated Philadelphia Eagles. Two games that even if Dak was playing in, they very well could lose one, or both. Winning the games you should becomes an even bigger deal when you are down your star QB.
Cowboys QB Cooper Rush went 5/6 for 108 yards on passes targeting receivers at an intermediate level on Monday night.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) September 28, 2022
He is now 14/16 for 252 yards and 1 TD on these passes this season.
His CPOE on the season is + 20.4%.
That ranks 1st among QBs.
(via Zebra Technologies)
It is clear that Rush and Noah Brown have a connection, as they have practiced together quite a bit over the last few years, and it seems that connection between Rush and CeeDee Lamb is growing as well. It looks like Sunday may be the day we finally see Michael Gallup inserted back into the lineup, and while it may be for limited opportunities, this will be the first time the Cowboys offense will have their full assortment of wide receiving options on the field together this season. Look for Gallup’s presence to only make things easier for Rush and the offense as he opens things up and needs to be accounted for due to his big-play ability and quality hands.
Cowboys QB Cooper Rush to make his third straight start Sunday for Dak Prescott. This time, he could have WR Michael Gallup. “He’s a big-time player. …Last week was really good to see him out there at practice. And this week, he’s getting a full slate. We’re really excited.”— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 29, 2022
The Cowboys don’t need Cooper Rush to be a superstar for this team to win, they’ve shown that thus far in his three career starts. They just need him to keep doing what he has been doing. Simply protect the football, be confident and decisive at the snap, and trust the guys around him to make plays.
The time may never come where Rush is the guy here in Dallas, but he is absolutely the most important underrated star of this team in 2022 and without him, who knows where the 2022 Dallas Cowboys would be right now.