Dallas Cowboys Should Ride Cooper Rush Until Dak is Fully Healthy
Regardless of what happens next week in Philadelphia, things could not have gone any better for the Dallas Cowboys over the last month. After losing their franchise quarterback to a thumb injury in a week one loss to Tampa Bay, seldom used backup Cooper Rush has led Dallas to four straight wins. The truth is Rush has not had to win games for the Cowboys. Instead, he has been terrific as a game manager, and he has taken care of the football in all four wins.
Everyone knows that Dak Prescott is the starting quarterback in Dallas, especially Rush. Jerry Jones did not spend $160 million for him to be holding a clipboard on the sidelines. However, what Rush has done on the field at quarterback has given Jones and head coach Mike McCarthy more reason to let Prescott heal until he is absolutely 100-percent ready to return. Rush has also been able to take care of the football, and he has yet to thrown an interception in 2022.
The Cowboys offense has been much more balanced with Prescott on the mend. The 1-2 punch of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard has taken all the pressure off of Rush to deliver the ball in the air. The Dallas ground game has been so successful that it has helped set up the pass. Statistically speaking, the Cowboys have been just average rushing the football this season, and they rank 15th out of 32 teams in the NFL with 115.8 yards per game. The thing is with Prescott, the team always looked to pass before run. Now, they are more balanced offensively.
Don't let Cooper Rush and his 4-0 record fool you. The reason why Dallas has been so good is because of their defense. Coordinator Dan Quinn has one of the league's most feared units, and they have dominated their opposition so far this season. Yesterday, they made Matt Stafford's life miserable, while penetrating the Rams depleted offensive line all game long. The Cowboys are currently 7th in fewest yards allowed per game and third in points allowed per contest. Micah Parsons has been a beast, but guys like Dorance Armstrong and Osa Odighizuwa have also been huge for the Dallas D.
If I was Jones and McCarthy, I would stay with Rush as long as possible. Earlier last week, we heard that Prescott is getting close to returning, but he still cannot grip a football the way he needs to. Up next for America's Team are the Philadelphia Eagles, the last undefeated team in the NFL. They will pose the biggest test for both the Cowboys defense as well as Rush and company. After that, the schedule softens up with home games against the Lions and Bears. That is the perfect time for Prescott to make his long awaited return to the starting lineup.