The Dallas Cowboys are bringing back their QB2 as the team is signing Cooper Rush to a two-year contract, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. There had been some concern that Rush would bolt in free agency for a chance to compete to become a starting quarterback elsewhere, but the musical QB chairs appear to be filling up this offseason. Rush’s contract can be worth as much as $6 million with the first season of the deal fully guaranteed.
“Dak’s backup is back: The Cowboys are signing QB Cooper Rush, source says. It’s a 2-year deal for $6M max,” Rapoport tweeted on March 17, 2023. “1st year & signing bonus fully guaranteed. The passer who ripped off four straight wins in 2022 returns. Rush was represented on the deal by @Chriscabott of @equitysports.”
It is a big move for Dallas given Dak Prescott’s recent injury history as the quarterback has missed time in three straight seasons, including a significant gap in two of the last three years. Dallas also deserves praise for getting Rush under contract for the next two seasons rather than the expected one-year deal. Rush shined in Prescott’s absence throwing for 1,051 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 58% of his passes in nine appearances last season.
Cooper Rush Believes He Can Be an NFL Starting Quarterback
There had been some chatter Rush could follow former Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to the Chargers. Yet, Los Angeles would represent a similar situation to Dallas as Rush would be firmly behind Justin Herbert. During his run in 2022, Rush admitted he believes he can be a starting NFL quarterback.
“I spoke to him [Rush] after the game. He said he thinks he’s proven he can be a starter in the NFL elsewhere, and he’s ignoring any noise about a potential controversy in Dallas — even if some if it is coming from Jerry Jones himself,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio said October 2, 2022 on NBC’s “Football Night in America.”
Could the Cowboys Draft a Quarterback & Carry 3 QBs in 2023?
Prior to bringing back Rush, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones admitted the team plans to put more of an emphasis on drafting a quarterback. It will be interesting to see if Dallas holds firm to this and potentially carries three quarterbacks on the active roster next season. The Cowboys could also draft a late-round signal-caller and keep the prospect on the team’s practice squad for 2023.
“Jerry Jones said the Cowboys are committed to drafting a quarterback,” The Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins tweeted on February 1. “He said he should have committed to drafting one every year years ago.”
Dallas could opt to skip the draft and retain Will Grier who the team has under contract for 2023. Prior to the Rush news, DallasCowboys.com’s Patrik Walker suggested that the team could make Grier the QB2 heading into next season.
“I often reported Grier’s dominance at the QB2 position in training camp, to the point where he had overtaken Rush in an unofficial capacity, but a groin injury suffered in August completely changed that dynamic,” Walker wrote on February 20. “When Prescott went down, the Cowboys needed a capable veteran (Rush) and not a second-year player nursing a groin issue; and the rest is history.”