Cowboys Settle on QB Cooper Rush as Backup

Cooper Rush (7) of the Dallas Cowboys in 2019
Cooper Rush (7) of the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have circled back to veteran Cooper Rush as their No. 2 quarterback. Rush will serve as a backup for starter Dak Prescott after winning the job in a competition with Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci.

As a result, Dallas released Gilbert and DiNucci. This helped the team come down to the 53-player roster limit.

Rush joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and manage to lock the backup job midway through his rookie season. He held the spot in 2018 and 2019 as well before being waived during the 2020 offseason.

After a brief stint with the New York Giants, Rush returned to the Cowboys midway through the season but spent most of the campaign on the team’s practice squad.

While Rush only attempted three passes in his pro career, all of which came in his rookie year, the Cowboys consider him a valuable player for their organization. It also helps that he is familiar with the team’s offense and could step in at any moment if called upon.

“I just think he’s shown that he can run the complete offense,” said owner and general manager Jerry Jones while making an appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “Credit to him. He had some tough competition. Those guys didn’t cut him any slack. He’s had a lot of reps. All of our quarterbacks had because of the absence of Dak. All of those things make us feel real comfortable here.”

Garrett Gilbert was signed by the Cowboys in 2020 and served as a backup for last year’s starter Andy Dalton. He started one game, throwing for 243 yards and one touchdown in Week 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ben DiNucci was the Cowboys’ seventh-round pick in 2020. He played two games as a relief and started one game in his rookie campaign. DiNucci completed 23 passes out of 43 attempted last season while throwing for 219 yards. 

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