FRISCO, Texas – Just like that, this backup quarterback competition has seemingly changed rather dramatically.
Just a few days ago, it didn't seem like Cooper Rush was anywhere close to Garrett Gilbert for the No. 2 spot behind Dak Prescott.
Now, as the Cowboys prepare for the fourth and final preseason game this Sunday against Jacksonville, it sounds as if Rush is not only in the mix, but the new favorite to get the backup spot.
Rush outplayed Gilbert Saturday night against Houston and is taking the first-team reps this week with Prescott still sitting out with the shoulder injury.
Rush is expected to start this Sunday against the Jags at AT&T Stadium.
On Tuesday, Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones was asked to address the position on 105.3 The Fan and he only mentioned Rush when discussing the backup role.
"It's great though to have a quarterback, for instance in Cooper Rush, that understands the game," said Jones, who pointed out that Rush might be different in his style than Prescott, but to the point where the offense has to change drastically if he were to play significant snaps.
"We can do everything. We can do our complete portfolio as far as our offense is concerned with Cooper Rush," Jones said of Rush. "He's a little different, but still we can do everything. That's good. I've seen the time when the backup quarterback didn't allow you to do everything you wanted to do. That's really good there. We'll see how this game checks out with the competition here and then we'll make a decision this weekend."
Jones said this year will likely be different at backup quarterback than a year ago when they signed veteran Andy Dalton. He also said a big reason for the change is having to pay Prescott $40 million per season this year.
"You look around the league and most clubs don't break the bank at backup quarterback when you got the premium player we have at quarterback," Jones said. "That leaves you a little vulnerable when your main guy isn't in there to be trite. We had it backed up last year the best that I've ever seen, and it didn't work for us. We lost Dak and we still, our backup quarterback had issues of availability, Andy Dalton. So, no matter what you put there doesn't necessarily have the results that you want. That's no basis of making a decision and doing the very best that you can do at backup quarterback."
The Cowboys officially had to cut the roster down to 80 players on Tuesday and will make the cut to 53 players next Tuesday (Aug. 31).
The team has four quarterbacks on the roster in Prescott, Rush, Gilbert and Ben DiNucci.