Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has hinted that it’s not impossible for Cooper Rush to steal Dak Prescott’s starting spot amid the quarterback fight.
Dallas lost its first game of the season to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the Cowboys took a bigger hit when they also lost starter Prescott for at least the next few weeks due to the quarterback requiring right thumb surgery.
The following week, led by backup QB Rush, they clinched a home win over reigning AFC champions Cincinnati Bengals.
Team owner Jerry Jones has never been one to shy away from controversy, and he appeared to welcome a quarterback fight when speaking to reporters Thursday.
Before Monday night’s fight against the Giants at the Meadowlands, Jones backed the idea that Rush could win back-to-back starts in Prescott’s absence.
“Of course I want it,” Jones said, per The Athletic when asked about the potential dilemma of gaining momentum for Rush as Prescott’s replacement.
“That means we won,” Jones added. “If he comes in and plays as well as Prescott … I would run to New York to get that.
Jones added that he feels the same way about Rush that he felt about Prescott when he took over from Tony Romo as a rookie in 2016. Jones repeatedly drew parallels between the three quarterbacks in his speeches to the media.
“Of course we want Dak to be here next week. That’s what you do But Dak and I want Rush to lead the team to a win here and get another win. Looking back, when Dak played instead of Tony, it was game after game.
“So do I think it’s possible for Rush to come here and play at a level and win games like Prescott did when he took over for Romo? Yes I do. Yes I do. I definitely think it’s possible.’
When asked to clarify his statements, Jones referred back to Romo, not quite so subtly: “Well, it was supposedly impossible that Prescott (years ago) could play that well and keep Romo out of the… game.”
In 2016, Tony Romo was 36 and in his 13th season in the NFL. He had started approximately 11 seasons for the Cowboys when Dallas Prescott was drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 draft after a stellar career at Mississippi State. Romo had won only two playoff games during that period and made the playoffs only four times and never made the NFC title game.
By comparison, Prescott is 29 and in his seventh NFL season. He, too, was unsuccessful in the playoffs, but he has four seasons to surpass Romo’s mark. Unlike Prescott when he took over as a rookie, Rush has been in the league for six seasons and is in his second stint with Dallas. Unlike Romo, Prescott is still in his prime and the Cowboys don’t need a change.
But Jones is known for making major upheavals within the organization in the past, so making such a hasty decision isn’t entirely out of the blue.
Prescott returned to practice Thursday. He didn’t snap or touch a football, but he did use a practice ball and did some drills on the field with other quarterbacks. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Prescott’s stitches have not yet been removed, but it is expected to be in the near future.