HOUSTON, Texas – Cooper Rush wanted to put last Sunday's game behind him quickly, but turnovers remained an issue for the Cowboys' backup quarterback as preseason ended Thursday night.
With Dak Prescott sitting out the finale, Rush started for the second time in four days and played the entire first half, completing 14 of 25 passes for 83 yards. He threw two interceptions, including a Hail Mary attempt toward the end zone on the final play of the half.
Pocket protection again was an issue at times, including Rush's first interception on the second series of the game. Feeling pressure to his right, he forced a ball downfield into traffic that was picked off by Justin Reid and returned inside Cowboys territory. The Texans scored a touchdown five plays later.
Rookie Mike White played the second half and went 13-of-21 for 118 yards.
"I thought Coop made a couple of good throws in the game," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. "We drove the ball a little bit at times. A couple times he missed some throws. I thought he made a poor decision on the one interception when he was moving to his right under duress."
Last year, Rush won the backup job as an undrafted rookie after posting an NFL-best six touchdowns with no interceptions in preseason. This year, he's thrown one touchdown and four picks.
"Numbers wise, obviously not as good," Rush said. "But I think you keep putting in the work, keep studying, keep communicating, making the right decisions, those things, those numbers will come."
Extra Rookie Reps
Michael Gallup has earned a role in the Cowboys' competitive receiver rotation, but he wanted as many offensive snaps in Thursday's preseason finale as his coaches would give him.
"Coach asked me if I wanted to play one quarter or two quarters. I told him two because I need to see everything as much as possible," he said. "For me, it was another training session."
Gallup, a third-round draft pick, has made big plays downfield in practices and games. He caught 4 passes for 29 yards in one half of work against the Texans.
"He just needs to play," Garrett said. "He's a young player who's done a lot of good things for us, but he needs to play. We wanted to throw him the ball a few times."
Lenoir's Last Impression
Wide receiver has been arguably the most competitive position throughout preseason. Could they keep as many as six on the 53-man roster? Seven?
Lance Lenoir did everything he could to earn perhaps that last spot.
The first-year wideout played the entire game, catching 9 passes for 69 yards. He also returned 5 punts for 23 yards without error after muffing two returns last Sunday, including one that led to a defensive touchdown.
"I put my all on the field today," he said.
Said Garrett: "Lance has done a great job for us, he really has. He comes to work every day. He's a tremendous practice player. He's improved dramatically over the last year or so."