Cowboys Predicted to Cut Record-Setting Veteran Quarterback

Hello, Trey Lance, Cowboys quarterback-in-waiting. Good bye … Cooper Rush?

Egads. Rush, of course, is a popular member of the Cowboys, a backup for seven seasons who played so well in relief of Dak Prescott when the Cowboys star was injured in 2022—he was 4-0 to begin his starting stretch—that there was legitimate conversation about whether Dallas should stick with him even when Prescott was healthy.

Rush, after all, set a Cowboys record by starting his career at 5-0 as a starter.

That fascination has passed, but Rush remains a reliable backup whom the Cowboys can trust. But at age 30, he is not a threat to take the QB1 job from Prescott and when it comes to the big picture, what the Cowboys want on their QB depth chart is a potential Prescott replacement. Prescott will be a free agent in 2025 if he is not able to come to an extension agreement with the team.

A quarterback who can replace Prescott gives the Cowboys some leverage in negotiations with Prescott. Such a quarterback also might well be needed if things fall apart with Prescott. Lance, the No. 3 pick in the 2021 draft, could be that guy.

Assuming Lance goes into 2024 as the No. 2 quarterback, that could leave no place for Rush. In fact, at the Cowboys site Blogging the Boys, the projected 53-man roster notably has Rush having been cut.

Cooper Rush Could Be Expendable

That’s a tough pill to swallow. But eventually, the Cowboys will need to get down to 53 players, and given the team’s tinkering on the offensive line—two new draftees joining the mix—and the need for depth at running back and wide receiver, keeping three quarterbacks is probably a luxury the team can’t afford.

Thus, BtB has the Cowboys holding onto three running backs and a fullback, nine offensive linemen, four tight ends and five receivers, with room for only two quarterbacks, Prescott and Lance. No Rush. The site speculates that Rush could be traded or bumped to the practice squad.

If he does go to the practice squad, though, another team could scoop him up and put him on the 53-man roster.

Wrote Jess Haynie of Blogging the Boys: “Speaking of the squad, is that where Cooper Rush lands this year? Maybe Dallas tries to trade Rush for a late-round pick or some other veteran asset for a team needing depth at quarterback.

“But unless they’ve been running a total con on us, Trey Lance almost has to be your primary backup. They could still keep Rush as QB3, valuing his presence in the room, but the cost is a valuable roster spot at another position.”

Cowboys’ Trey Lance: Real Option or Bargaining Ploy?

It would be both a surprise and a disappointment if Rush wound up being one of the casualties of the Cowboys’ maneuvering on Prescott. While there is an assumption that the team will simply go through the theatrics of a tough negotiation with Prescott before he eventually re-signs, there is a real chance that the team lets him play out his contract and get to free agency.

And maybe they should. Prescott had an MVP-caliber season last year, as the Cowboys went 12-5 for the third straight year. But he also flopped in the playoffs yet again, losing at home to the Packers in the first round.

The Cowboys could give Prescott a record-breaking quarterback contract this offseason. But what if he again crumbles in the postseason? Then Dallas will be committed to a guy who can’t win when it matters most.

Perhaps, then, the Cowboys are legitimately letting things play out with Prescott for this year, with Lance as a real option going forward, not as a decoy. If that’s the case then, yes, Rush will be missed, but the Cowboys probably do not need him.

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