Quarterback controversies don’t usually benefit anyone, but Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would not mind if his team became embroiled in one.
With Dak Prescott currently sidelined by thumb surgery, Cooper Rush led the Cowboys to a 20-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and will be the starter again Monday night against the New York Giants. Rush has won both of his career starts on final-minute drives.
Jones' hope is that Rush plays so well that it will not be completely clear cut that Prescott would get his job back when he’s healthy, which could be as soon as October 2 against the Washington Commanders.
"Of course I would. Of course. That means we’d have won," Jones said. "If he comes in there and plays as well as Prescott played, Rush? Played that well over these next games ahead? I’d walk to New York to get that."
There is precedent in Dallas for an injured quarterback to lose his job. In 2016, Prescott, then a rookie, filled in for an injured Tony Romo and led the Cowboys to a franchise-record 11-game winning streak. Romo never regained his starting job.
"Well, of course we want Dak to be here next week," Jones said. "That’s the thing. You do. But Dak and I want Rush to lead the team to a victory here and get another win and get another win. That’s the only way to look at it. Looking back when Dak was playing instead of Tony, it was game by game. It wasn’t the long look we had after two months to look back."
Regardless of how well Rush plays, the Cowboys last year signed Prescott to a four-year, $160million contract extension that includes $126m in guaranteed money. That would be a massive amount of money to pay for a backup quarterback.