Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has suggested it is not impossible for Cooper Rush to steal Dak Prescott’s starting spot amid the quarterback battle.
Dallas lost its first game of the season to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the Cowboys suffered a bigger blow as they also lost starter Prescott for at least the next few weeks with the quarterback needing surgery on his right thumb.
The following week, under the leadership of backup QB Rush, they pulled out a win at home over the reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals.
Team owner Jerry Jones has never been one to shy away from controversy, and he seemed to welcome a quarterback battle when speaking to reporters on Thursday.
Ahead of Monday night’s battle against the Giants at the Meadowlands, Jones backed the idea of Rush winning 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 Rush building momentum as Prescott’s replacement.
‘That means we’d won,’ Jones added. ‘If he comes in and plays as well as Prescott played… I’d walk to New York to get that.
Jones added that he felt the same way about Rush as he did about Prescott, when the latter took over the starting role from Tony Romo as a rookie in 2016. Jones repeatedly drew parallels between the three quarterbacks when addressing the media.
‘Of course we want Dak to be here next week. That’s the thing, you do. But Dak and I want Rush to lead the team to a victory here and get another win. Looking back, when Dak was playing instead of Tony, it was game by game.
‘So do I think that it’s possible for Rush to come in here and play at a level and win games the way Prescott did when he took over for Romo? Yes I do. Yes I do. I certainly think that’s possible.’
When asked to clarify his statements, Jones not-so-subtly referenced Romo again: ‘Well it was impossible, ostensibly, that Prescott could play that well (years ago) and keep Romo out of the … game.’
In 2016, Tony Romo was 36-years-old and in his 13th season in the NFL. He had started for the Cowboys for about 11 seasons when Dallas drafted Prescott in the 4th round of the 2016 Draft after a stellar career at Mississippi State. Romo had won only two playoff games and made the playoffs only four times during that period and never reached the NFC title game.
Comparatively, Prescott is 29-years-old and in his seventh NFL season. He too hasn’t been successful in the playoffs, but he has four seasons to best Romo’s mark. Unlike Prescott when he took over as a rookie, Rush has been in the league for six seasons is in his second stint with Dallas. Unlike Romo, Prescott is still in his playing prime and the Cowboys aren’t in need of a transition.
But Jones has been known to make huge shakeups within the organization in the past, so making a decision as rash as this isn’t entirely out-of-the-blue.
As for Prescott, he made his return to practice on Thursday. He didn’t take any snaps or touch a football, but he used a training ball and did some drills on the field with other quarterbacks. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Prescott’s stitches haven’t been removed yet, but it’s expected they will in the near future.