FRISCO, Texas – Cooper Rush's rise in preseason means the Cowboys will "very likely" keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, team owner/general manager Jerry Jones says – a heavier number than usual for the club.
The Cowboys kept three quarterbacks on their initial 53-man roster last year, including an injured Tony Romo. But before 2015, the Cowboys hadn't started a season with three quarterbacks since 2011 (Romo, Jon Kitna, Stephen McGee).
Doing so this year would mean going lighter at another position, but Jones believes the Cowboys have found "serious long-term potential" and depth with starter Dak Prescott, Kellen Moore and Rush – the undrafted rookie out of Central Michigan who has thrown six touchdown passes and no interceptions in four preseason games. Luke McCown, the 13-year veteran signed early in training camp, has taken third-team reps when healthy.
Rush has split second-team reps with Moore the last two weeks and started the second half against the Raiders last Saturday.
"I am just so excited that he's taking advantage of the opportunity at snaps," Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan. "You've heard me say so many times the problem with quarterbacks is they don't get any snaps, the younger quarterbacks, the ones that aren't drafted No. 1. The fact that last year that Dak [Prescott] got the snaps that he got under the circumstances, it was just so inordinate for him to be able to have that kind of evaluation. And then this year in its own way you can basically say Rush made his snaps."
"I'm just excited that we've got on this roster the potential of Rush now to go with Dak, and of course Moore we've always thought he brought the knowledge and the ability to execute the offense to the table. So, I look at it as though we, at the key position, the hardest one to find in all of football, we've all of a sudden gotten really gotten serious depth or serious long term potential here."
Asked if Rush would be active as the No. 2 quarterback in Week 1 of the regular season against the Giants, Jones said, "I don't want to get ahead of that, don't have to, but yes, there's very likely we'll keep all three of them."