Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy tried to be as tactful as possible.
But he made it clear he wants no part of the controversy that owner Jerry Jones stirred up on Thursday when told reporters that he welcomed the idea a quarterback dilemma between backup Cooper Rush and starter Dak Prescott, who is out with a fractured thumb, when Prescott was healthy enough to play again.
“Clearly, everybody in our locker room and everybody in the building, Jerry included, knows Dak is our quarterback,” McCarthy said. “We want Cooper to be successful as possible. So, I think it stops right there.””Dak is our starter.”
The basis of Jones’ comments were that it would mean Rush had played well enough for the Cowboys to continue win games without Prescott.
Rush led the Cowboys to a 20-17 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2 and will start on Monday night against the New York Giants.Prescott could return as soon as the Oct. 2 game against the Washington Commanders or the Oct. 9 match up against the Los Angeles Rams.
”Like anything, you look at the whole thing it’s about winning,” McCarthy said. “That’s all we really care about. There is no quarterback controversy.”
McCarthy blamed the media for fueling the story and for not knowing the difference between Jones the owner and Jones the general manager.
”I think you need to be able to decipher between GM Jerry and Owner Jerry,” McCarthy said. “He can do that in like mid-sentence, too. I think you all need to do a better job of that. Get to work.
”The GM, he wants to win.”
The problem is that the owner continues to talk.
But Jones did try to put the genie back in the bottle by seemingly to back down on the notion that he was welcoming a quarterback controversy on his radio show on 105.3 The Fan Friday.
“I don’t believe there’s anybody in the world that doesn’t understand how much I appreciate Dak Prescott, his skills and to have him for the future and the future being right now, really,” Jones said.
On Thursday, Jones compared the Rush situation to how Prescott, who signed a four-year, $160 million before last season, got the starting job as a rookie in 2016 when he led the Cowboys to a 10-1 start in place of an injured Tony Romo, the franchise’s all-time leading passer who had a $20 million cap figure.
“Wouldn’t it be something if you had a dilemma which way you go,” Jones said with a wry smile to a gaggle of reporters at his team’s headquarters at the Star in Frisco on Thursday. “You do that if you had 10 wins. The same thing that happened with Prescott.
“I think like that.”