DALLAS - For the second year in a row, the Dallas Cowboys may be having a rookie quarterback play his way onto the roster.
Last year, of course, Dak Prescott was the signal-caller who couldn't be kept on the practice squad. This year, former Central Michigan QB Cooper Rush is the QB making his case.
After a so-so 9-for-18 performance against Arizona in the Hall of Fame Game, Rush has gone 9-for-11 and 8-for-9 against the L.A. Rams and Indianapolis Colts, respectively. He's also thrown four touchdown passes without an interception for a passer rating of 125.2.
Head coach Jason Garrett has noticed. “What he’s been able to do every time he’s come in is help our team move the ball and score points,” Garrett said following the Indianapolis game.
Incumbent backup Kellen Moore, by contrast, is 30 for 55 in his preseason action, with one touchdown and one interception. His passer rating is a far more pedestrian 74.9,
NFL teams rarely keep three quarterbacks on the active roster, preferring to stash a backup on the practice roster, but it seems unlikely it would be possible to place Rush there, given that all 31 other NFL teams would pass up the chance to claim a rookie who has performed that well in his first game action.
The Cowboys will probably be forced to decide between Rush and Moore, who has appeared in three NFL games over portions of five seasons with the Lions and Cowboys. Moore is 64 for 101 in regular season action, throwing four touchdown passes with six interceptions. His lifetime passer rating is 71,0.
Moore has thus far faced tougher competition in his preseason opportunities, but The Ft. Worth Star Telegram reported yesterday that Rush has begun taking snaps with the second team, a sign that the coaching staff wants to see what Rush can do against better defenses.
Rush was a four-year starter at Central Michigan, which ran a pro style offense.