The Dallas Cowboys signed undrafted free agent Cooper Rush, who could add depth and a possible future asset as a backup quarterback.
Quarterback isn’t a position of importance for the Dallas Cowboys, at least at the starting quarterback level, entering the 2017 season after the emergence of Dak Prescott during his rookie season. In fact, the backup role might not be one of importance either as Kellen Moore is set to return to the roster following his season-ending injury in the preseason last year, too.
But with any football team, competition for roster spots is always of vast importance. And competition for the role of backup quarterback comes to mind for the Cowboys in their 2017 offseason as a position battle to keep an eye on this offseason.
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That thought brings in undrafted rookie free agent Cooper Rush out of Central Michigan and how he’ll could challenge Moore (and maybe an incoming veteran) for the backup job behind Prescott. If something were to happen to either Prescott or Moore, like what happened last preseason with Tony Romo and Moore, the Cowboys will need to be very prepared for the situation, leaving Rush as that emergency option right now.
The 6-3, 230-pound Rush played four seasons for Central Michigan. In two of his four seasons he completed at least 63 percent of his passes. In his final three seasons, Rush threw for over 3,100 yards per year, including a junior season where, in 13 games, he passed for 3,853 yards (489 attempts) with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
In his final collegiate season, Rush passed for 3,540 yards (465 attempts) with 25 touchdowns and 16 interceptions to his credit.
Here is the kicker about Rush: Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compares him to none other than the current backup in Dallas, Moore, the same player he’ll most likely be competing with for a roster spot if the Cowboys make the backup role at quarterback into a competition.
If the Cowboys decide to keep three quarterbacks on the roster, Rush is most likely the third-string quarterback on the roster, or even on the practice squad depending if the Cowboys bring in a veteran this offseason. Then again, in a recent pre-draft mailbag article, Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com wrote about how he’s unsure about Moore from here on out:
“I really don’t have much confidence but I am no longer working in the front office. Scott Linehan feels that he can do the job so you have to trust his decision to go with him.”
From watching film on Rush, there is, of course, some work to be done. His reads could use some work, as a couple highlights showed when he would zone in on one target, the defensive backs took full advantage.
But to be fair, he did play at times with heavy pressure all around him making him force throws he should have never attempted. Rush also made plays with his feet and showed signs that he can make the big-time throw like he did against Oklahoma State. Then, later in the same game, he threw an interception on a throw that shouldn’t have been made, showing he needs to work on his reads.
This is a nice signing by the Cowboys, and they have a player they can take their time with, work with and see what happens if he shows enough during various camps this offseason.
Rush seems like a player who is a hard worker and one who can transition to the next level at the NFL if given the proper time and coaching. He shouldn’t cause any quarterback controversy, but he is a quarterback to keep tabs on and see how he progresses if the Cowboys keep him on the roster — either the 53-man or the practice squad — this season.
If the Cowboys have learned anything over the past couple seasons, it is a team can never have too much talent at quarterback. Two years ago (the 2015 season) they learned that the hard way. Rush, at the very least, helps provide a little insurance that they don’t end up in that situation again.