FRISCO, Texas — Much was made of a potential quarterback controversy when Cooper Rush initially stepped in for Dak Prescott, and it has only gained steam on its own as Rush and the Cowboys have won four consecutive games.
The truth is that eventually Prescott will return to the starting lineup from thumb surgery, and though it's not likely that he does that this Sunday against the Eagles, the reality is that it's simply a matter of "when" instead of if."
But what has not been brought to the light is the relationship between the two quarterbacks. Despite the inevitable comeback of the Cowboys franchise quarterback, Rush has said and done all of the right things, including Thursday when he talked about Dak's upcoming return.
"He's good," Rush said when asked about Dak's progress. "As you expected from him just through how he trains and how he gets back and how hard he works. You knew he would be fine."
Sure, Prescott participated in the "quarterback school" drills that head coach Mike McCarthy dubbed them. And he was listed as limited in practice on Thursday for the first time, perhaps a sign of progress in his rehab, but he has yet to be a full participant.
In the meantime, it'll be Rush again in Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football, where he won his first career start last season in Minnesota in what is sure to be the most anticipated Eagles and Cowboys clash in some time.
But throughout the historic start to Rush's career that includes going 5-0 in his first five starts, Prescott has been right there in his ear serving as the leader that the Cowboys have come to revere.
"I've said before he's helped tremendously with our room, myself, and everyone else on the sidelines," Rush said of Prescott. "He's bringing energy, that's just who he is as a person or a leader."
And it's not to take away from the success that Rush has had this season. But the infectious support that Prescott has given him and the rest of the Cowboys has absolutely only helped the cause and only speaks to the synergy between him and Rush.
When Prescott went down in Week 1 against the Buccaneers in what was later learned to be a broken thumb that would sideline him for multiple weeks, Rush came in and managed the rest of what was an ugly loss before he began the preparation for his second career start the following week.
Safe to say we have come a long way from that second Sunday in September, but most of all Rush has come even further.
"You just stay who you are," Rush said about his growth from Week 1 to now. "You kind of realize that it is just football again, it's just at a bigger stage and better players. But you're playing with better players too.
"I learned that you can freak yourself out about things. But once you're in it, it's just ball again. And it's kind of what you were meant to do."
Playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys is not for everyone, that much we know. But for Rush, who was signed by the organization as an undrafted free agent in 2017 out of Central Michigan and let go in 2020 to the Giants, he has seen his confidence grow immensely in his second stint.
"You see more stuff," Rush said about his first real chance to play. "More live game reps, you can't get enough of them. Pretty plain and simple. So, I just try to keep gaining confidence and learn from the mistakes and just keep moving forward."
Dak will be back soon enough, don't worry. But what Rush has done can't be understated just like what Prescott has done from afar can't either. And most of all, the two's relationship is perhaps the most unspoken portion of the Cowboys success this season.