Cowboys, QB Cooper Rush agreed to a two-year contract

Todd ArcherESPN staff writer3 minute reading

Why the Cowboys need to focus on their defense and 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 back.

FRISCO, Texas — Dak Prescott will have one familiar voice in the quarterback room this year: backup Cooper Rush has agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract that includes a $1.25 million signing bonus, according to sources.

Rush can earn up to $6 million on the job.

Rush is 5-1 as the Cowboys’ starter over the last two seasons while filling in for an injured Prescott. He threw for 1,475 career yards with eight touchdown passes and four interceptions. At least two AFC teams sought a contract with Rush before he agreed to return to the Cowboys.

The team likely wouldn’t have made the playoffs in 2022 without Rush, who stepped in for an injured Prescott early in the season and went 4-1 as a starter.

Prescott suffered a fractured right thumb in the season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, requiring surgery and missing five games. Filling in, Rush was steady and played when it mattered most.

His numbers weren’t spectacular — Rush didn’t top 235 passing yards or have more than two touchdown passes in a game. However, he helped the Cowboys beat the 2021 Super Bowl runners-up (Cincinnati Bengals) and champions (Los Angeles Rams) in a four-week span, while picking up two key NFC East wins against the New York Giants and Washington Commanders.

Rush, who turned 29 in November, had three first-half interceptions in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles before Prescott’s return.

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

It wasn’t the first time Rush was forced into starting duties in place of Prescott. In his first career start — against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 31, 2021 — Rush threw for 325 yards on 24-of-40 passing with two touchdowns, including the game-winning catch against Amari Cooper in the final minute.

In three of his six career starts, he led Dallas to late wins, becoming one of nine running backs to do so in their first six career starts.

Rush earned a backup job with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and kept the job until 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 returning to the Cowboys later in the season.

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