Cooper Rush has been a great fill-in for the Dallas Cowboys. So naturally, a few talking heads have actually raised the question of what Mike McCarthy should do when Pro Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott is ready to return to action.
Like it’s some kind of debate that Rush should play over a healthy Prescott.
It’s a silly topic of conversation. If you even want to call it a “topic”.
Sure, Rush has been great and he is a big reason why the Cowboys are 3-1. But this is easy: Prescott is the far superior player and with all due respect, he means so much more to the Cowboys locker room than Rush.
There’s zero reason to keep Prescott on the bench once he’s healthy.
The silliness hasn’t stopped there, however. Things continued on Tuesday morning when NFL Network‘s Kyle Brandt said on Good Morning Football that he believes the Cowboys are on the verge of having a “full-blown thing” -i.e. a tough decision to make- when it comes to who to play at quarterback.
“If he [Rush] starts this weekend and beats the Rams – we’ve got a full-blown thing,” said Brandt. “And I’m so here for it.”
Brandt bases his theory around the fact that things are working well right now with Rush, so he’s taking the “if it’s not broke, don’t try to fix it” approach with the Cowboys.
“They got this Cooper Rush-thing going in which there’s a formula,” said Brandt. “Cooper Rush throws for about 180-yards, he throws one touchdown and zero picks and hands it off and they win. Tony Pollard plays ball, Zeke Elliot looks motivated, [and] CeeDee Lamb has never looked more comfortable.
“And it now begins this, ‘What do we do here?’. Because this is getting very interesting.”
Brandt took things another step further and even crossed into conspiracy theory territory on Twitter.
This is so perfect. They’re gonna milk that “grip the ball” stuff until Cooper Rush loses. And they should. https://t.co/XWCOankOOG— Kyle Brandt (@KyleBrandt) October 4, 2022
It’s odd to theorize the Cowboys should hold one of their best players out of what is going to be an important stretch of games. The thought is Prescott will return for the NFC East showdown with the rival Philadelphia Eagles, which is obviously a huge game.
If Prescott is ready to play, he has to play in that game. There should be little concern for rust, as the perfect counterpoint to that argument is Prescott’s performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2021 season opener.
After the Eagles, it’s the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. The key with those games is they are all NFC contests and represent key wins for postseason placement. Plus, all four teams (even with the Bears’ struggles) aren’t terrible teams.
And, let’s not forget the fact Prescott hasn’t even played a full game with the 2022 version of the Cowboys. While rust shouldn’t be a concern with his actual play, it does make sense to wonder if there will be rust regarding Prescott’s cohesion with his teammates.
Obviously, it is important to gain as much chemistry as possible throughout the season. The longer the Cowboys hold out Prescott as Brandt suggests, the longer they keep said chemistry from developing.
For a team with postseason expectations and a team that is going to eventually bench Rush, anyway, that makes zero sense.
But to be fair to Brandt, this was all out of love, ultimately.
“For the first time in my entire adult life, I’ve never liked the Cowboys more than I do right now,” said Brandt. “I love what they have going on. I love this version of the Cowboys … They have a thing going on, now, where they win ugly. And I don’t if the Cowboys, as a company, like that, I don’t know how their merchandise sales are doing – I don’t care.
“[But] I know how their win column is doing and it’s win, win, win.”
Featured image via Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports