Troy Aikman thinks Cowboys have true QB controversy if Cooper Rush beats Eagles
When the Dallas Cowboys first found out that starting quarterback Dak Prescott fractured his thumb and would require surgery, the talk from the front office was all about how the team was going to get him back sooner than the initially diagnosed six to eight weeks.
Four weeks later, backup Cooper Rush has led this team to four straight wins and the narrative has become about a supposed QB controversy rather than how soon will Dak be back.
At the end of the day, this is a great problem for the Cowboys to have. Rush is far from a top quarterback, but has somehow managed to keep this team from drowning in the adversity they faced. His wins are not only breaking franchise records, but they are also allowing Prescott to take the full time he needs to medically heal from his injury.
However, everyone has their opinions. Is it worth taking Rush out if he’s winning games? Will this team hesitate to put Prescott back in despite his massive contract?
The latest person to weigh in is someone who knows the quarterback situation in Dallas very well: Hall of Famer and former Cowboy Troy Aikman.
Aikman has been an avid supporter of Prescott throughout his career. The broadcaster was supportive of No. 4 taking over for Tony Romo when Prescott led the team to a 10-game win streak in 2016. Aikman also encouraged the front office to sign their starter to a big contract before it was too late.
But now, the former quarterback isn’t sure what the front office should do given Rush’s success. He thinks the team may have a legitimate question to answer if Rush wins again on Sunday night against arguably the best team in football.
Troy Aikman thinks the Cowboys may have a legit QB controversy if Cooper Rush beats the Eagles
In an interview with 96.7 The Ticket, Aikman genuinely questioned if putting Prescott back in was the best choice:
"“If the (Cowboys win Sunday), you start asking the question, ‘Do we put Dak back in?’ Considering what they’ve been able to do and how they’ve been able to win games with Cooper Rush, I think that becomes a real question the organization has to answer.”"
The Hall of Famer wasn’t just basing these questions on previous comments from Jerry Jones. He’d been in a similar situation himself in his time with Dallas with backup Steve Beuerlein.
Before Aikman ever led Dallas to a Super Bowl, he had his own QB controversy. Beuerlein stepped in for an injured Aikman in Week 13 of the 1991 season. The backup led the Cowboys to a 24-21 victory against an undefeated Washington Commanders team and then went on to win another three games to finish out the season. It gave America’s Team their best record (11-5) in eight years.
When the playoffs began, then-head coach Jimmy Johnson decided to leave Beuerlein in over a then-healthy Aikman. The backup led Dallas to another victory over the Bears. Sadly, when Aikman was back in the next playoff game, the team lost to the Lions.
The ESPN broadcaster reflected on what that situation was like:
"“I wasn’t happy about it. I don’t think there were questions within the organization as far as who was the future for the franchise. But those become hard questions and it’s the only position it probably happens at.If they’re winning and they win a big road game against Philadelphia, I could see where there is some pause and you say, ‘Well, how exactly do we handle this?’ And I don’t know. In no way, I can see it now, the headlines, that’s not what I’m saying at all. Dak is the quarterback of this franchise. I love the guy. And they’re better with Dak at quarterback, but the team is playing good football right now.”"
We’ve gotten to the point where even Prescott’s biggest supporters are wondering how the team is going to move forward amid Rush’s hot streak. Dak is unlikely to play on Sunday but could be ready for Week 7 (six weeks after the injury) against the Detroit Lions at home.