Cowboys backup Cooper Rush leads Dallas to improbable victory over Vikings

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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush (10) throws a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

MINNEAPOLIS (KXAN) — The scene was set for an epic finish between the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings.

Dallas quarterback Cooper Rush, making his first NFL start in place of the injured Dak Prescott, had the ball as the Cowboys trailed 16-13 with 2:51 left in the fourth quarter.

Rush heaved a pass down the sideline that Amari Cooper miraculously tipped to himself for a 33-yard gain. On the next play, Rush went back to Cooper for an 18-yard gain to the Vikings 24-yard line.

The heroics were only getting started.

Facing 3rd-and-11, Rush dumped a pass off to Ezekiel Elliott, who bullied his way through Vikings defenders to the 4-yard line.

Fifty-five seconds on the clock, Rush picked up his 325th passing yard of the night on a fade route to Cooper for the touchdown and a 20-16 lead. Cooper finished the game with eight catches for 122 yards.

The Dallas defense stayed steady on the final Vikings’ drive as it did all night. Randy Gregory was relentless rushing Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins. Micah Parsons finished with 11 tackles. The Vikings were unable to cross the 50-yard line as time expired.

Dallas outgained Minnesota 419 to 278.

Rush scored the Cowboys’ first touchdown of the game on a 73-yard pass to Cedrick Wilson in the first minute of the third quarter. It was the longest pass by a Cowboys player making his first start since Roger Staubach in 1969, the Dallas Cowboys said.

This is a massive statement for the Cowboys, playing without its franchise quarterback. Dallas has won six straight games after its season-opening loss at Tampa Bay. Prescott was inactive for the game, recovering from a right calf injury.

Dallas hosts Denver next week at 12 p.m. on FOX.

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