The Dallas Cowboys have an exciting battle for backup quarterback unfolding. Cooper Rush and Kellen Moore have both stood out but for different reasons.
The Dallas Cowboys are currently watching one of the better roster battles this offseason as the team is looking for a backup quarterback. Out of the three candidates, two of them have stood out but for different reasons.
The Cowboys have a big decision to make this offseason as the backup quarterback position seems to be up for grabs. The perennial backup, Kellen Moore, has underperformed but is well liked by the coaching staff as they know he has a pretty decent handle on the playbook.
Cooper Rush is a mature rookie with a ton of upside. He has performed pretty well this preseason as he led the Cowboys to a victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the Hall of Fame game.
But really it is the small moments that have people questioning whether or not Moore belongs ahead of Rush. The rookie seems poised much like starting quarterback, Dak Prescott did in 2016.
He may not have the same level of production but has handled himself well in some fairly tight situations. His blitz recognition has been very good but even when faced with a defensive end breathing down his neck, he remains calm and makes the right play.
Moore, on the other hand, seems flustered and realistically who could blame him? When former starting quarterback, Tony Romo, got injured all eyes were really on Kellen Moore to put it together and replace him.
Prescott surpassed Moore halfway through the preseason, and eventually went on to become the starter. That is because Moore has not been great when the Cowboys have needed to count on him.
He has a 4-for-6 touchdown to interception ratio and that all came during the Cowboys bad 2015 season. We know what we are getting with the veteran, an average game manager who cannot make big plays.
Rush has upside because well, we have not had the pleasure of seeing him for a couple of seasons and just based off of the eye test, he is the superior player. Opposing defenses seem to also worry about the passing game when Rush is on the field, his chemistry with the emerging tight end, Rico Gathers is undeniable.
As a backup quarterback one of the most important traits is the ability to inspire confidence and hope, Moore, unfortunately, has never done that. The oldest veteran quarterback currently on the roster, Luke McCown was expected to be the best option before preseason began. His resume was lengthy and has shown the ability to be a capable backup.
McCown has become an after thought especially now that Rush has surpassed his expectations. He can be a threat with his legs, makes the right reads, and understands blitz protection better than Moore and that is concerning considering how long the veteran quarterback has been familiar with offensive coordinator Scott Linehan’s scheme.
Just based off of the numbers alone, Rush has completed 9/11 passing attempts, gained 104 yards, 1 TD, and has a 136.4 quarterback rating.
Compare that to both Moore (8 for 17, 69 yards, 58.2 quarterback rating) or McCown (2 for 6, 6 yards, 42.4 quarterback rating) and the numbers are clearly in the rookie’s favor. At this point, one more impressive outing from Rush could guarantee him a roster spot.