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Roster Cut Day

Cooper Rush In As QB2; Gilbert, DiNucci Out


FRISCO, Texas – Cooper Rush has won the job – for now, anyway.

The Cowboys' first roster cuts of the year began to trickle out on Tuesday morning, most notable among them being quarterbacks Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci.

It's possible that one or both quarterbacks return to the team as a practice squad member, but it sends a clear message. Cooper Rush is currently the only quarterback on the roster behind Dak Prescott, having won the training camp competition against Gilbert.

"I just think that he's shown that he can run the complete offense," said Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones on Tuesday morning. "Credit to him, he had some tough competition. Those guys didn't cut him any slack. He's had a lot of rep – a lot of our quarterbacks have, because of the absence of Dak."

The Cowboys acquired Rush as an undrafted free agent in 2017, and he has been impressing their coaches ever since. He won a roster spot as a rookie and served as Prescott's backup for three years, before ultimately being cut in May 2020 after the team signed Andy Dalton.

Rush returned after a brief absence when both Prescott and Dalton were injured last fall, and he seems to have picked up where he left off.

Of course, there's always the outside chance the Cowboys acquire a quarterback from someone else's roster. With 31 other teams releasing players and seeking to trade assets, it has been widely speculated that the Cowboys could add another quarterback to compete with rush for backup snaps.

Asked about that Tuesday morning, though, Jones seemed to indicate that the team was fairly satisfied with what Rush brings to the table.

"I think that you've got to assume that -- with his knowledge of what we're doing offensively, what we're doing with the existing personnel that we're going to be opening with – you've got to assume you've got a pretty high bar here, in terms of what's the most effective way to play if you didn't have Dak now," Jones said.

Final cuts are never truly final, as the Cowboys will assuredly tinker with their roster heading into the regular season. But at the outset, Cooper Rush appears to have won one of the Cowboys' most important roster battles.