FRISCO, Texas (KXAN) — Cooper Rush will be the Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback after the franchise cut former Lake Travis product and Texas Longhorn Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci Tuesday.
The race to backup Dak Prescott turned out to be a battle of attrition as each candidate struggled at times during the preseason. Rush most likely staked a claim to the spot after a two touchdown performance against Houston in the second week of the preseason. Rush went 10-of-12 passing vs. the Texans, replacing DiNucci after he started the game with three interceptions.
Gilbert played well in Sunday’s preseason finale against Jacksonville, completing nine passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. However, Rush didn’t make any mistakes in a limited appearance vs. the Jaguars.
“I’m proud of what I put on tape,” Gilbert said Sunday. “Those decisions are out of my hands. I’m just going to worry about what I can control.”
Gilbert made the first start of his six-year NFL career with the Cowboys during the 2020 season. The Austin native started his college career at Texas, replacing Colt McCoy in the 2009 BCS National Championship game. Gilbert transferred to SMU in 2011, putting together a strong college career with the Mustangs.
Rush has spent his entire NFL career with Dallas in two separate stints. He signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent prior to the 2017 season. Rush appeared in five games from 2017 to 2019.
The Central Michigan product was cut before the 2020 season to make way for Andy Dalton. He rejoined the team after the position was decimated by injuries to Prescott and Dalton last fall.
“I just think that he’s shown that he can run the complete offense,” said Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said according to the team’s website. “Credit to him, he had some tough competition. Those guys didn’t cut him any slack. He’s had a lot of rep – a lot of our quarterbacks have, because of the absence of Dak.”
It’s likely the Cowboys will add a quarterback to the practice squad, which may result in Gilbert or DiNucci returning to Dallas. The Cowboys could also decide to go an alternate route for a practice squad QB. Rush and Prescott are the only quarterbacks on the Cowboys’ depth chart.