The Dallas Cowboys have been making this an offseason to remember for fans. Not only are they retaining key contributors from a season ago, but they are bringing in new talent to make the team better.
As weeks pass, details emerge about how negotiations with players and the front office went down. In this week’s mailbag on DallasCowboys.com, Nick Eatman explained how the Cowboys “got lucky” Rush returned to Dallas as the backup to Dak Prescott.
Nick: From the sound of things, the Cowboys got pretty lucky that he returned. He was getting close to taking another offer with either the Raiders or Bengals. But I don’t think he ever really wanted to leave. And sometimes, just comfort alone is hard to beat. Cooper Rush is a solid backup that is a proven winner. So while we all thought it was close last year with Will Grier, it’s going to be even tougher now considering Rush has won so many games as a starter. Yes, they might draft a QB as well, but I find it hard to believe he won’t be the No. 2 QB here next year.
Eatman doesn’t mention how early in free agency the talks were with either the Raiders or Bengals, but if they were right before he signed with Dallas, it would have been to be the backup to Jimmy Garoppolo and Joe Burrow.
If the Raiders approached Rush before they signed Garoppolo, that would have been the only scenario where No. 10 could have competed for a starting job with a potential draft pick.
Credit to the front office again because it didn’t seem like Rush would return after going 4-1 as a starter in 2022, with that first win coming against the Bengals by the way, and having a career record of 5-1 overall. He proved enough to warrant an opportunity elsewhere, throwing for 1,051 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions. However, as Eatman mentions, “comfort alone is hard to beat.”
The Cowboys could still draft a quarterback in May with four on the roster heading into training camp. With Rush winning as many games last season, a rookie quarterback would more than likely put a question mark around Will Grier's job security.
Rush is familiar with the system, McCarthy and Prescott, so staying in Dallas makes too much sense for both parties. The Cowboys are better off having the “Red Rifle” in their arsenal this season.