Rush decision: Cowboys QB returns, sources say

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FRISCO, Texas — Dak Prescott will have one familiar voice in the quarterback room this year: Backup Cooper Rush has agreed to a two-year deal worth $5 million and includes a $1.25 million signing bonus, according to sources.

Rush can make up to $6 million on the deal.

Rush has a 5-1 record as the Cowboys’ starter the past two seasons while filling in for an injured Prescott. For his career, he has thrown for 1,475 yards with eight touchdown passes and four interceptions. At least two AFC teams had sought to sign Rush before he agreed to return to the Cowboys.

The team likely would not have made the playoffs in 2022 without Rush, who stepped in for injured Prescott at the start of the season and went 4-1 as the starter.

Prescott suffered a fractured right thumb in the season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that required surgery and forced him to miss five games. Filling in, Rush was steady and made plays when they mattered most.

His numbers were not spectacular — Rush did not top 235 yards passing or have more than two touchdown passes in a game. However, he helped the Cowboys beat the 2021 Super Bowl runners-up (Cincinnati Bengals) and champions (Los Angeles Rams) in a four-week span, while delivering two key NFC East wins against the New York Giants and Washington Commanders in between.

Rush, who turned 29 in November, was intercepted three times in the first half in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles before Prescott’s return.

In the nine games in which he saw action last season, Rush was 84-of-162 passing for 1,051 yards and five touchdowns.

It wasn’t the first time Rush had been pressed into starting duty in place of Prescott. In the first start of his career — against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 31, 2021 — Rush threw for 325 yards on 24-of-40 passing with two touchdowns, including the game winner to Amari Cooper in the final minute.

In three of his six career starts, he led Dallas to a late winning drive, becoming one of nine quarterbacks to do so within the first six starts of a career.

Rush won the Cowboys’ backup job as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and held the job through 2019. With Mike McCarthy arriving in 2020 and the addition of Andy Dalton, Rush was released and spent time with the Giants before returning to the Cowboys later that season.

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