It is safe to say that fans of the Dallas Cowboys have a different view of the backup quarterback position on this team compared the other second QBs from around the NFL. A seemingly never-ending sequence of Tony Romo injuries at the end of his Cowboys’ career saw talented Dallas teams fall off entirely thanks to incompetent QB2 play.
Cowboys Nation may easily forget how close 2016 was to being another one of these lost seasons, as Kellen Moore was in line to replace the injured Romo prior to his broken leg suffered at training camp that introduced Dak Prescott to the world.
Now, after spending a year helping Dak become the budding star he is, Moore’s job as Prescott’s primary backup is under fire thanks to UDFA sensation Cooper Rush out of Central Michigan.
The Cowboys returned to their headquarters at The Star to resume training camp on Monday, and Rush made headlines by earning some second-team reps following an eight of nine passing performance against the Colts that saw Cooper throw his third and fourth touchdowns of this preseason.
While the Cowboys organization, from Stephen Jones down to Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan, still supports Kellen Moore as a knowledgeable backup to have around with a terrific eye for the game, his physical limitations in actually executing the on-field duties of the QB2 role have stood out when compared to Cooper Rush’s dazzling and steady performances.
With tough roster decisions to come for a Cowboys team finally starting a healthy and young quarterback, keeping an experienced QB that’s only played in three regular season games and completed 58.7% of his passes over that time with six interceptions is far from ideal when an even younger option is outperforming Moore for Dallas on the field thus far.
Ever since the Hall of Fame game, Cooper Rush’s confidence has jumped off the tape as a QB that’s barely had the opportunity to work with the starting offense around him. Rush’s ability to compete paired with his natural arm talent warrant – at the very least – a fair chance for the undrafted four-year college starter to continue to develop with better talent around him at practice.
Kellen Moore is a finished product at this point in his career. He is a quarterback that will not be able to help the Cowboys win any games on the field should he be called on, only helping this team privately with his respected work in the quarterbacks room and team meetings. The same cannot be said about Cooper Rush at the moment, but a spot may open up much easier on the roster for a QB that could some day be expected to play at a high level if needed.
The truth of this matter is that, come September 10th, we’ll be forgetting quickly about the preseason debate between Kellen Moore and Cooper Rush – no matter what the team decides to do. The Cowboys’ 2017 hopes are firmly entrenched in QB Dak Prescott, and finding ourselves this deep down the roster to discuss competition for spots on America’s Team only speaks to the overwhelming talent that Prescott’s team as a whole has entering the new year.
Whether or not this will include the clear talent that Cooper Rush has shown through three preseason games is hard to determine though, even after an added move of confidence by the Cowboys to promote Rush’s reps in practice and question Kellen Moore’s home in Dallas.