Dallas Cowboys

Cooper Rush gets a chance (if a short one) to revive perceptions against Texans

Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush calls signals against the Cardinals during Sunday’s preseason game at AT&T Stadium.
Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush calls signals against the Cardinals during Sunday’s preseason game at AT&T Stadium. Special to the Star-Telegram

Relax. Cooper Rush has got this.

The Dallas Cowboys’ backup quarterback will be Rush, according to head coach Jason Garrett, and nothing is going to change that before the season opener Sept. 9 at Carolina.

Don’t make too much of the issues Rush had during Sunday’s first half against the Arizona Cardinals. A couple of bad throws, that’s all it was. At least that’s the view from Rush, and for the most part, Garrett, during Tuesday’s press conference.

Is too much being made of one sub par half of football?

No, not really. Even Rush knows interceptions are a killer, whether they’re only a perception killer or game-killer, or both. No one likes them and Rush threw two on Sunday on particularly poorly-thrown passes, including one in the end zone and one returned for a touchdown. That’ll mess with perceptions no matter who’s throwing the picks. If not those of Garrett or fans, perhaps Rush himself.

That’s probably why he’s happy there’s a quick turn around and he’ll be back on the field Thursday night in the preseason finale against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. He’s not sure how much he’ll play, but he’s hoping to put the sluggish performance behind him. Against the Cardinals, Rush and White each played a half.

“Turnovers are a big issue and you look at the film and understand why it happened and you learn from it,” Rush said. “Turnovers are always a big deal. We’re really excited that we have another game coming up quick on Thursday so we get to forget about and get another chance.”

Rush, who played attempted three passes in 2017, said he feels much more comfortable his sophomore season with the Dallas offense and what NFL defenses are trying to do.

“I feel like I’m making a lot of good reads, a lot of good throws, and made some plays,” he said. “Just have to eliminate a couple of those turnovers and you feel pretty good.”

Garrett had no qualms about declaring Rush his backup quarterback based on his rookie season in 2017. The rough night is part of the maturation process, he said.

“There were some good things in the game and obviously there were some bad plays,” Garrett said. “He’ll learn how to handle some of the situations better as he goes forward. One of the most impressive things about him since we’ve gotten him is his maturity, how smart he is, how poised and composed he is. When you’re in some challenging situations, all of that gets tested. At times, I thought he handled it really well. Other times, he didn’t handle it well enough.”

A good half (or quarter) in Houston and Sunday will be distant memory for everyone.

“You don’t want to think about it all week so it’s not bad,” Rush said. “I’m really excited to go out there and get another shot at it. It’s part of the job, as an offense, as a player, to watch the film and move on to the next one.”

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