There’s been a grand total of 92 players who have thrown a pass in a Cowboys uniform since Dallas was awarded a franchise in 1960. 48 of them have been quarterbacks with 44 of them starting a game in their career. Of those 44 signal callers, 29 have started at least three games in their career for the organization.
Until Monday night, only one quarterback who began his career with Dallas had started, finished and won three consecutive contests with a star on the side of his helmet; Roger Staubach. That is until Cooper Rush happened.
With Monday night’s emphatic come-from-behind, 23-16 victory over the New York Giants, the Cowboys won their 10th game in 11 tries against the Gotham Knights. Rush performed admirably in his second consecutive start in place of franchise quarterback Dak Prescott. Nursing a broken thumb, Prescott cheered Rush and his teammates on from the sideline, watching them take down the team that bookended Prescott’s own 11-game winning streak in 2016. The Cowboys lost to the Giants in the opener, then again in Week 13. Those were the last times he lost to New York, going 10-0 since.
But this night was about Rush.
Finishing 21-for-31 for 210 yards and one touchdown, the stats don’t come close to telling the entire story. There were only a handful of misguided passes, the rest being on target, leading receivers into open spaces and away from danger. There were a handful of dropped passes and completely egregious missed defensive penalties that took away at least five completions and two more touchdowns. He was, dare we say it, surgical.
And the performance put him in great company.
Jason Garrett and Steve Beurlein had also won their first three decisions with the Cowboys, along with the legendary Staubach and man-of-the-hour Rush. However Garrett’s streak is tainted as in his first start, he went just 2-for-5 passing before Bernie Kosar took over and did the brunt of the work in leading to a 20-15 win over the then Phoenix Cardinals.
Beurlein actually won his only 4 regular season starts with the Cowboys, but by 1991 had already started 15 games over his first two seasons with the Raiders before heading to Dallas to backup Troy Aikman. He even started and won a playoff game that year, moving to 5-0 at the time. Then the calendar turned to January and he started the debacle against the Lions in the divisional round when Aikman tried to return but to no avail.
So that just leaves Staubach and Rush alone as the only Cowboys QBs to start their first three games as Cowboys and leave the field as the guy getting all the glory.
On Sunday, Rush will likely take on the Washington Commanders with a chance to stand alone in Cowboys history in one aspect. He’ll look to be the first homegrown QB to win his first career starts, while trying to repeat what Beurlein did in his relief of Aikman.