Cooper Rush ready to compete to retain backup job to Dak Prescott

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There was a time Jason Garrett wanted a veteran quarterback backing up his starter. He had the likes of Jon Kitna, Kyle Orton, Brandon Weeden and Mark Sanchez in case of emergency.

The past two seasons, though, the Cowboys have relied on young, unproven Cooper Rush as their No. 2.

Perhaps that says more about Tony Romo’s inability to stay healthy late in his career and Dak Prescott‘s ability to stay healthy early in his. Prescott has not missed a game in his three seasons, playing 3,131 of a possible 3,199 offensive snaps.

Rush continues to patiently wait his turn.

“That’s just part of the job as the backup,” Rush said this weekend at SportsCon 2019 in Dallas. “You practice all week and study the game plan. You know it like the back of your hand, and when that opportunity comes, you’ve got to fill in for your team and play well and do your job.”

Rush has played three games and thrown three passes, completing one, in his two seasons backing up Prescott. Last year, the Cowboys made Mike White a fifth-round draft choice, and he will get a chance to compete with Rush for the No. 2 job this year.

White was a game-day inactive for all 16 games last season.

Rush embraces the competition.

“It’s the NFL. Every day there’s competition,” Rush said. “There’s someone out there trying to compete with you for your job. That’s the nature of the position of quarterback. That’s how it’s always been. That’s how it’s always going to be. Mike’s a great guy, fun to work with. We’re pretty good buddies, and we both love to compete and really looking forward to this preseason.”

Rush, 25, feels better about where he is now than when he signed as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Central Michigan in 2017 and better than he did this time a year ago.

“Every year just you keep getting confidence — how to read defenses, the speed of the game, all that stuff you hear about,” Rush said. “It’s real, and it’s definitely all coming together. I had a really good minicamp and OTAs. I felt very comfortable.”