SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The backup quarterback competition between Cooper Rush and Mike White still requires a full body of work.
But for one preseason game, Rush had better production – and fortune.
The Cowboys' primary backup the last two seasons, Rush relieved Dak Prescott after the opening series in Saturday's 17-9 loss to the 49ers. He played six total drives and completed 16 of 26 passes for 142 yards, leading the offense to two of its three field goals.
The second scoring drive came in the final two minutes of the first half – an 11-play, 59-yard series ending with a 31-yard field goal by Brett Maher. Rush got them into range with an 18-yard completion to rookie receiver Jon'Vea Johnson.
"I thought Cooper did a nice job in the two-minute drill," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. "A lot of different situations you try work on in practice, but nothing like being in a game situation like that. I thought he handled it well. I thought the guys handled it well."
White, the team's fifth-round pick a year ago, took over on the second drive of the third quarter. Playing behind a less experienced offensive line, he was sacked three times on his first three drives and lost a fumble that San Francisco turned into a field goal on the ensuing series.
White battled back late, driving the offense 89 yards (with the benefit of two 49ers penalties) to the San Francisco 4. But the 49ers forced four straight incompletions to stave off a potential tie.
It's been almost a full calendar year since either player threw a pass in a game. (Prescott started all 16 games last season.) Naturally, there's some rust to knock off in these situations.
"It's always fun to get back out there and play football," Rush said. "It feels like it's been a while when you get out there and you need to get in the groove again, take a couple hits, and it all comes back. We'll see the film and we'll learn a lot from it."