FRISCO, Texas – Asked Friday about Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones' comments that he'd welcome a starting quarterback debate regarding Dak Prescott and backup Cooper Rush in the coming weeks because it would mean "we'd won (games)," head coach Mike McCarthy said Jones' comments must be put into proper context.
"When you look at the whole thing and particularly the start, it (the message) is about winning, and that's all we really care about," McCarthy said. "But there is no quarterback controversy. Dak's our starter."
Jones added some clarification Friday during his weekly radio segment on 105.3 The Fan.
"I don't believe there's anybody in the world that doesn't understand how much I appreciate Dak Prescott -- his skills, and to have him for the future and the future being right now, really," Jones said. "But the point is that if players play at a level to where you've got people debating how are you using them with their skills or as to who ought to be out there or who is not when they're playing at that level, that's a positive."
Meaning, basically, that the ultimate goal is to win games. If Rush continues to lead the Cowboys to wins while Prescott recovers from his recent thumb surgery, so much the better.
"We don't have anybody that would really, deep down, like to see Cooper Rush play to that level more than Dak because that enhances it for all of us," Jones said. "Because we know we're going to need every ounce of every person on this team's best play."
But the fact is that Prescott is the starting quarterback when healthy. That became crystal clear when Jones and the franchise signed him to a $140 million contract in March 2021.
And Jones is hoping Prescott can return to the lineup as quickly as possible, adding in his comments to reporters on Thursday, ""Of course we want Dak to be here (playing) next week."
Rush is set to make a second consecutive start Monday night on the road against the New York Giants.
Prescott soon will be getting stitches removed from his surgically-repaired right thumb. He did not practice Thursday but did some non-throwing exercises on the field during the open portion.
There's not a definitive timetable for his return, but by not placing him on injured reserve, the Cowboys are cautiously optimistic he could be back within a four-week timeframe.