Cooper Rush will get more second-team reps Tuesday. coach Jason Garrett said, as the undrafted rookie moves closer to supplanting Kellen Moore as Dak Prescott‘s backup.
While Moore has played better competition than Rush in three preseason games, Rush has outplayed the veteran. Rush has completed 26 of 38 passes for 283 yards with four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 125.2 passer rating; Moore has completed 30 of 55 passes for 382 yards with one touchdown, one interception and a 75.0 passer rating.
“Probably a combination,” Garrett said Tuesday when asked if it’s more what Rush has done or Moore hasn’t done. “I thought Kellen has done some really good things and then other times hasn’t been as good, and Cooper has taken advantage of his opportunities when he’s gotten them. That’s the big thing we try to emphasize to all of our players: If you get 20 reps in practice or two, maximize them. There’s going to be a reel at some point that we’re going to look at that are all of your plays, how did you do? So it’s important for guys to maintain a focus and focus on what their opportunities are and not look left and right or behind them. Just focus on what your chances are and take advantage of them. Each of those guys has done a good job of that.”
The Cowboys signed Rush after the Lions beat them to their seventh-round target, University of Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya. Like last year, when the Broncos beat them to Paxton Lynch, leaving them to draft Prescott, the Cowboys might have lucked out.
Rush started four years at Central Michigan, playing in a pro-style, under-center offense. He has adapted quickly to the NFL.
“I feel confident in my ability, and my team’s ability,” Rush said. “But every day I’ve got to keep improving. I’ve got a long, long way to go. Every day, every snap there’s something that I’m learning new. When I’m taking the snap, or watching Kellen or watching Dak, I just try to soak that all in.”
The Cowboys have four quarterbacks on their roster who have combined to start 28 career games, including fourth-stringer Luke McCown with 10 starts. So Rush has only slightly less experience than the quarterbacks ahead of him. Of course, soon Rush officially might have only Prescott in front of him.
“Definitely, it’s not a bad sign, so you just take it,” Rush said of his second-team reps. “You go in stride with it, and you just stick with what you’ve been doing.”