How much will it cost the Cowboys to keep Cooper Rush beyond 2022?

Cooper Rush #10 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Cooper Rush #10 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

After getting out to a rocky start in their season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Dallas Cowboys have rung off three straight victories en route to a 3-1 record.

With that, they see themselves ranked second in the NFC East division behind the only unbeaten team in the league in the Eagles, fifth in the NFC, and in a seven-way tie for the second-best record in the league, overall, behind the Eagles.

Considering they’ve been without their starting signal caller over the past three weeks, that’s pretty darn good. However, Dak Prescott does appear to be on the mend and set for a return sooner than later, though Cooper Rush offers them an opportunity to not have to rush Prescott back either.

Speaking of Rush, what does his franchise-record-setting performance so far mean going forward when Prescott is able to make his return? Well, hopefully, not a whole lot this season as that would mean Prescott is healthy moving forward. But what about in the years beyond this year?

It’s very simple. I believe the Cowboys will have to pay Cooper Rush around $4-5 million dollars per year to keep him on this roster, at the very least, unless some other team comes along and offers him nearly $10 million or more. There are cases out there in both situations.

The Dallas Cowboys will likely have to pay at least $4 million to keep backup QB Cooper Rush

Take Matt Flynn for an example of what another desperate or searching team might pay on the open market. After having a pretty good showing in one win as a starter in relief of Aaron Rodgers for Green Bay, he would parlay that into a three-year deal at $19 million with the Seattle Seahawks.

Though Russell Wilson made sure he never realized his potential in Seattle, that was something that occurred after he got the money. And yes, that was only $6.5 million on average per year, but consider that was also 10 years ago. When thinking about the current quarterback market, Rush could get way more than that.

When you look at what the Cowboys might have to pay to keep him around, just take some backups this year. Though Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold had a QB Battle in Carolina, both of them make right around $8 million per year on average, meaning either would have been an “$8 million dollar backup quarterback.”

You can look at Jimmy Garoppolo as another example out in San Francisco. He’s a very good example of this situation due to his status as a pure backup this season before Trey Lance’s injury and the fact that he is probably a very good comp for Cooper Rush as a player right now. Jimmy G is being paid $7 million dollars on average.

Though he smartly had incentives added to his contract in the event that he was to ever be the guy again (ones that could add about $5million more dollars to his salary this season with success), that initial number is what matters.

So, to answer the original question, it will likely take somewhere between $4-$7 million to keep Rush beyond this year—and that’s only if some team, again, doesn’t offer him something much higher.

Though one start happened last season, let’s lump that in to make one complete set of games for the sample’s sake. Across four games as a starter thus far, Rush is 4-0.

He is completing 61.2 percent of his passes on nearly 30 attempts while averaging about 250 yards passing, 1.5 touchdowns thrown, and just .25 interceptions per game. Those numbers would land him in the middle of the pack among current starting NFL quarterbacks in all of the stats except interceptions, where he would be among the best in the league.

Combine that with what the above quarterbacks made or are making in their situations, and you know why Dallas will either have to give Rush a major raise in the coming seasons or lose him. What do you think the Joneses will do?