Cowboys and QB Cooper Rush agree to a 2-year deal

Todd ArcherESPN staff writerRead for 3 minutes

Why the Cowboys should focus on their defense, not Dak

Tedy Bruschi explains why the future of the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t depend on Dak Prescott, but on the strength of their defense and running game.

FRISCO, Texas — Dak Prescott will be a familiar voice in the quarterback room this year: Backup Cooper Rush has agreed to a two-year deal worth $5 million and includes a $1.25 million signing bonus, according to sources.

Rush can earn up to $6 million from the deal.

Rush has a 5–1 record as the Cowboys’ starter for the past two seasons while filling in for an injured Prescott. For his career, he threw for 1,475 yards with eight touchdown passes and four interceptions. At least two AFC teams had tried to sign Rush before he agreed to return to the Cowboys.

The team likely would not have made the 2022 playoffs without Rush, who filled in for the injured Prescott at the start of the season and went 4-1 as a starter.

Prescott suffered a broken right thumb in the season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that required surgery and forced him to miss five games. Rush filled in, was stable and played when they mattered most.

His numbers weren’t spectacular – Rush didn’t get past 235 yards or have more than two touchdown passes in a game. However, he helped the Cowboys defeat the 2021 Super Bowl runners-up (Cincinnati Bengals) and champions (Los Angeles Rams) in the space of four weeks, while notching two key NFC East wins against the New York Giants and Washington in between Commanders.

Rush, who turned 29 in November, was intercepted three times in the first half in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles before Prescott returned.

In his nine games last season, Rush made 84 of 162 passes for 1,051 yards and five touchdowns.

It wasn’t the first time Rush had been forced to start in Prescott’s place. In the first start of his career — against the Minnesota Vikings on October 31, 2021 — Rush threw for 325 yards on 24-of-40 passes with two touchdowns, including the game-winner for Amari Cooper in the last minute.

In three of his six career starts, he led Dallas to a late win, becoming one of nine quarterbacks to do so in the first six starts of a career.

Rush won the Cowboys’ backup job as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and held the job through 2019. With the arrival of Mike McCarthy in 2020 and the addition of Andy Dalton, Rush was released and spent time with the Giants before later returning to the Cowboys. season.

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