Dallas Cowboys’ combo of Cooper Rush, Ben DiNucci a good reason not to watch football

Jack Dempsey/AP
·4 min read

Watching quarterback Cooper Rush start on Saturday night in the Dallas Cowboys’ first fake game of the 2022 season was more than enough reason to go to sleep, drink, or watch “Stranger Things.”

Few things are as strange as Cooper Rush’s NFL career.

Rush, the undrafted rookie free agent signee from 2017, continues to build one of the more brilliant careers in the history of the Dallas Cowboys.

Brilliant because he really can’t play. Not in the NFL.

He’s a veteran five-year backup who in a preseason game played like a rookie Division II NAIA project. In the first half he completed 12 of 20 passes for 84 yards and an interception in the Cowboys’ 17-7 loss to Denver.

This is not the first time we have watched Rush do this in a preseason game.

Rush started against the Broncos in Denver because the Cowboys don’t want Dak Prescott doing anything important until the regular season begins.

They prefer Cooper Rush not do much else other than pick up Dak’s dry cleaning. Hand him a cup of water when he retreats to the sidelines. Maybe do his taxes.

The Cooper Rush trial needs to end, but he remains their Ride-r-Die No. 2.

As much as we don’t need to see any more Cooper Rush football, watching Ben DiNucci play the quarterback position is reason to re-consider if we should watch the game any more at all.

Despite Mike McCarthy’s eternal love for backup DiNucci, Rush remains the Cowboys’ end-of-the-world option at quarterback.

If DiNucci plays, the world is already over.

Rush should build a graduate sequence in Harvard’s school of business how to combine some talent, good timing, hard work with relationship building into millions of dollars.

He does not belong in the discussion of the NFL’s all-time great backup quarterbacks, next to Vince Evans and Don Strock.

Rush needs to make a few more billion dollars to be in the same chat room as former Carroll star Chase Daniel, who at the age of 35 is still in the NFL making bank without making plays.

Rush can’t really play the position in the NFL, but that has not stopped him for being on an NFL roster and becoming a millionaire.

He made the team under than coach Jason Garrett in 2017 because he had he look of a project who could develop. Garrett was partial to undrafted guys, because he wasn’t out of Princeton.

Rush hit his ceiling, and in 2018 the Cowboys wanted rookie fifth round pick Mike White out of Illinois to win the No. 2 job.

He couldn’t do it.

Rush stuck.

Because that’s what he does. He’s a piece of gum covered in epoxy encased in glue.

He made it again in 2019. That was three years of NFL checks for a player who didn’t expect one.

In 2020, after Garrett was dumped, the Cowboys signed former TCU star Andy Dalton to be the backup and gave up on Rush.

Rush then joined the New York Giants practice squad in ‘20; not a coincidence since Garrett was then a member of the Giants’ staff.

When Prescott suffered a season-ending injury in ‘20, the Cowboys brought Rush back late in the season and he just keeps sticking.

He’s not a cockroach. Cockroaches can be killed.

Cooper Rush is the Keith Richards of NFL quarterbacks. Don’t be surprised when your grandchildren watch Rush play in the preseason in 30 years.

He won the No. 2 job last season because McCarthy learned what Jason Garrett did: Rush is a hard guy to dislike.

And he’s a BFF with the starting quarterback, too.

Rush winning his lone NFL career start, last season on Sunday night in Minnesota, will always be a wonderful story. No one was more surprised about that win more than Rush.

His value as a No. 2 is that he’s likeable, trust-worthy, and a pro who knows what to do in an NFL meeting, an NFL practice, and an NFL game. In the NFL, all of this has value for a team that doesn’t want to worry about that position.

If you can line it all up, you might just make a few million dollars, and qualify for the NFL’s pension and long-term benefits plan, too.

Few players in the history of the Dallas Cowboys have done more with less than Cooper Rush.

Watching him “play” on Saturday night against the Denver Broncos offered nothing new.

Good for Cooper Rush for making it this long.

Bad on the Cowboys for failing to find an upgrade over Cooper Rush.