Who is Cooper Rush? Meet the injured Cowboys substitute Dak Prescott

It’s time for bad news for the Dallas Cowboys. They lost 19-3 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their first season, and also lost quarterback Dak Prescott to a broken thumb, He was reportedly kept out for an estimated 6-8 weeks. With QB1 sidelined, team owner Jerry Jones said Sunday that QB’s reserve team, Cooper Rush, will “Get all reps.”

So who is Cooper Rush? You may remember him for his performance in the Week 8 game in 2021, when he made his NFL debut after Prescott injured his calf and Led Dallas to an unexpected win 20-16 over the Minnesota Vikings.

Not bad, right? But let’s look beyond that game and find out more about Prescott’s temporary replacement.

Get to know Cooper Rush

Rush, 28, from Michigan by birth. A high school three-sport athlete, he was the starter for the QB soccer team for three years, including two undefeated seasons. He went to college in Central Michigan and was initially out of his third QB series as a freshman, but earned the starting point after three games due to injuries and poor play by the quarterbacks in front of him. He remained the rookie throughout college, finishing his career with 49 consecutive starts.

Rush was not selected in the 2017 NFL Draft and ended up signing as an uncredited free agent with the Cowboys, where he spent most of his career. He rose from a third-series QB to a second-series QB in his first season, and made his first NFL game in week seven, replacing Prescott in trash time with a win over the San Francisco 49ers. He completed 1 of 3 passes for 2 yards , and lunge twice for 13 yards, which is exactly what you want from a spare QB at litter time.

The Cowboys are expected to start as backup quarterback Cooper Rush in place of Dak Prescott for 6-8 weeks as Prescott rehabilitates his broken thumb. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

Cooper Rush has participated in 11 matches as a professional so far

That game was the first of 10 in which Rush would appear over the next several years for the Cowboys. He appeared again in 2017, this time replacing Prescott in a 37-9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and throwing one incomplete pass. Rush appeared once in 2018, in a big win over the Jacksonville Jaguars where he had no passing attempts and no lunges. He also had no passes and no rushes in the two games he played in 2019, and again in strong wins.

After playing in any game in 2020 (and spending a month on the New York Giants coaching staff before being re-signed by the Cowboys), 2021 marked Rush’s first time in the spotlight. He made his first NFL start in the Vikings, going 24 for 40 with 325 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also appeared in three other games, going Rush 6 of 7 for 97 yards and one touchdown.

On Sunday, Rush was upgraded to the active roster right before the match. He went 7 for 13 after coming in to replace the injured Prescott, throwing for 64 yards.

Soon, the world will learn all about the Cowboys’ new interim quarterback. All eyes will be on Rush as he is expected to start his second career against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week Two.