Dallas Cowboys

Should Cowboys’ backup QB options be a concern?

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, right, talks with quarterback Cooper Rush during the first half of Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, right, talks with quarterback Cooper Rush during the first half of Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium. AP Photo

Is it time to worry about the health of Dak Prescott?

Don’t worry, the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback is doing just fine, especially after not playing a snap in Sunday night’s 27-3 preseason loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

But if Prescott did get hurt, how confident are you with Cooper Rush or Mike White taking over the offense? Sunday’s performances were a mixed bag for the quarterbacks. Rush played the first half and White played the second. Statistically, White had the much better day with most a collection of backups and against the ends of the Cardinals’ roster. White completed 17 of 22 passes for 157 yards and and an interception. He led Dallas on its only scoring a drive, a 45-yard field goal with 19 seconds left on the clock.

Rush completed 11 of 17 for 93 yards with two interceptions. Both interceptions were poorly-thrown, including a pick six to Patrick Peterson who returned it 30 yards for a score late in the first quarter. The other interception was in the end zone at the end of the first half.

“We’ll take a good look at this and see where we are,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “My read is we’re not interested in bringing in anybody at that position right now. I never say never until we see the lay of the land at this time of the year relative to other options, if any, that we might have. That’s not an equivocation. I just don’t want to say that we are solid there with those two.”

Jones said the Cowboys are intent on keeping young quarterbacks. Rush turns 25 in November in his second season in the league. The fifth-round pick White turned 23 in March.

“We’ve seen both do some good things out there. I think anytime you’re dealing with a down the line, backup quarterback, you realize that you are going to get criticized for not having a veteran in there,” Jone said. “But I like what we are doing. I don’t want to get into what tonight did for Rush or White with their status as far as I’m concerned.”

Head coach Jason Garrett was quick to point out that Arizona was playing most of its starters on defense against Rush and a mostly backup offensive line.

“We knew it was going to be tough sledding in that situation. But again, that’s a great opportunity to evaluate a guy, to see how he handles that adversity,” he said. “Unfortunately for him, turning the ball over a couple times hurt us. To have eight turnovers in a ballgame, I’ve never been a part of a game like that. He was responsible for a couple of them.”

Both quarterbacks were pleased with their nights. Rush said he should have expected Peterson to jump on the route.

“You’ve got to know he’s gonna jump it. I probably should have stayed away from him on that one,” Rush said. “I wasn’t stunned. You know he’s a great player and yeah, I wish I had that one back.”

White had a similar reaction. He was just happy to get a whole half of action under his belt.

“You want to get into a groove with your guys and see who’s playing well today, and what corner we want to pick on and just little things that kind of go on in the ins and the outs of the game,” White said. “It was nice to be out there for a little while.”

It’s unlikely Rush will play much Thursday in the preseason finale in Houston. And Prescott, along with most of the other starters, won’t play either. Has Prescott seen enough action?

“We’re comfortable that he’s had plenty of work,” Jones said. “He’s gotten so much competitive work in at practice. Coach (Scott) Linehan said that. That’s the thing that’s running through our logic [on preseason playing time].”

Rush expects to be Prescott’s backup for the second consecutive season.

“You’ve got to know that interceptions are part of the job,” he said. “It’s how you bounce back. You’ve got a lot of guys relying on you to bounce back, and that’s your job. I’ve always felt pretty strong in that department.”

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