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Backup quarterback is still a question for the Cowboys, but Cooper Rush played better than stats say

Saturday night offered little clarity on the Cowboys backup quarterback competition.

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

For the most part, Saturday night provided a lot of optimism for the Dallas Cowboys. Defensively it appears that this group is going to be in as good a position as they can be to fight against the regression to the mean that is likely coming their way. For what it’s worth, this group can still be better and improved even if there is regression in standout departments like turnovers.

We discussed all of the notable action from Saturday night’s game in a special BTB Roundtable on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.

Obviously KaVontae Turpin has provided a high level of excitement with regards to the return game, which is important as moments like that can swing contests in dramatic fashion. For the most part, Saturday night offered answers in many positive directions.

But not every question gets an answer. We are still left wondering exactly who deserves to be this team’s backup quarterback.

Backup quarterback is still a question mark for the Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott is the starting quarterback of the Cowboys and if he goes down for any significant amount of time then this team is in a bad spot. You would be hard pressed to find a backup quarterback in the NFL fit to play double-digit games for their team. This is the NFL though, where injuries happen and sometimes backups are called upon the way that Cooper Rush was for a game last year. He delivered against the Minnesota Vikings, and it appears that the fact that he did is the biggest thing working in his favor towards earning the QB2 job yet again.

Cooper’s night against the Chargers does not look as great in the box score as it should thanks to Jalen Tolbert not being able to get two feet in bounds. If the rookie receiver is able to successfully haul in what would have been his first touchdown, then a stronger argument could have been made in the name of Cooper Rush.

  • Cooper Rush if Tolbert gets two feet down: 4/5 (80%), 36 passing yards, 1 touchdown
  • Cooper Rush as a result of Saturday night: 3/6 (50%), 32 passing yards

Obviously the decision between Rush and Will Grier (all due respect to the lovable Ben DiNucci) isn’t going to be made over one throw that should have counted and the Cowboys know that it should have as well. We are just providing context for discussion is all.

Many said that Rush failed to properly take advantage of the Grier-less Cowboys last week against the Denver Broncos and noted that the preseason opener was an opportunity for him to end the discussion at backup quarterback. All of that is true and fair. He did not seize the proverbial moment.

But can we really say that Will Grier did during his debut on Saturday night? He was not poor or bad by any means, but right now his best qualities are that he is more mobile than Rush, and that he is another option who is not Rush himself.

The glass-half-empty folks surely think that this ball from Grier was not him throwing Brandon Smith open but an under-throw that happened to work out. Whatever the case, at the very least Grier is looking downfield and trying to make more aggressive things happen than Cooper is at the moment. An argument can be made that whether or not they are working is irrelevant (using that word loosely) and that the fact that this is Grier’s disposition is what people want in a backup signal-caller.

At this point Grier should be the backup quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. We have seen Rush, know what he can offer, know what he cannot, and we are all mostly content with telling Howie Mandel “no deal” because there are just too many suitcases left on the stage.

The unknown can often be scary and uncertain, but at this point the unpredictability of it is more exciting and enticing than the staleness of what we have had to this point.

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