Winning Rush gives Cowboys luxury of time on Prescott return

Oct 2, 2022, 10:53 PM | Updated: Oct 3, 2022, 10:56 am

Washington Commanders' Carson Wentz (11) and Dallas Cowboys' Cooper Rush, center right, greet each ...

Washington Commanders' Carson Wentz (11) and Dallas Cowboys' Cooper Rush, center right, greet each other after their team's NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys are in no rush to get Dak Prescott back at quarterback, thanks to Cooper Rush.

A trip to Los Angeles to face the defending Super Bowl champion Rams on Sunday seemed a good plan for Prescott’s return when the prognosis improved from as many as eight weeks to as few as four.

Owner Jerry Jones sounded as if more healing time for the fractured right thumb might be in order after Rush improved to 3-0 as a starter this season and 4-0 for his career in a 25-10 victory over Washington.

“As we look to the future, Dak is an ingredient to our success that’s really a must,” Jones said Sunday. “The first thing that happened when Dak went down that early, literally after the first game, I thought, ‘Oh, have we shortchanged ourself? Have we really got this quarterback thing addressed?’

“So I’ll tell you this. (Rush has) answered any apprehension I had about our ability to go out here and compete.”

The Cowboys (3-1) aren’t dominating on offense without their $40 million QB.

Far from it. Dallas is in the bottom 10 in the NFL in points, total yards, passing yards and third down conversions.

But Rush hasn’t thrown an interception in 102 passes this season (two against Washington were nullified by penalties). The undrafted sixth-year pro has led timely touchdown drives in the past two victories.

This surge started with the 20-17 upset of defending AFC champion Cincinnati, with Rush getting Dallas in position for the winning field goal after Prescott’s injury in the season-opening loss to Tampa Bay.

“I think he knows he’s got a lot of confidence in the offense, that he knows where the cars are on the field,” Jones said. “I can’t say enough about his play. It’s far more than what I would’ve expected.”

The question for Prescott is whether he can grip the ball with enough force to play in a game. Jones said the bone didn’t have to heal completely because of the plate that was surgically inserted.

“We don’t know if he is in position to throw the ball,” Jones said. “We have to get to play at the first of the week. We will see how that goes. I don’t have any way to access whether he is going to play this week.”


Dallas is winning with defense. The four touchdowns allowed through four games match the 1970 and 1972 teams for the fewest in franchise history.

While the Cowboys had to settle for two sacks a week after Washington’s Carson Wentz was dropped nine times, they did force two intentional grounding penalties and a slammed water bottle on the sideline from the frustrated QB. Dallas (15 sacks) entered Monday second in the NFL behind Philadelphia (16).

“I’ll repeat it again,” reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons said. “I think we’ve really got a chance to be the best defensive team in this league.”


The inconsistency of the running game is back. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combined to average barely 2 yards per carry in 27 attempts. This was a week after averaging 6.4 yards on 28 runs.

They had six negative rushing attempts between them, the most in a game in their three-plus seasons together. Pollard had a career-high four.


Mike McCarthy probably moved up the list on the odds for next coach fired after a poor showing, and the Prescott injury, in the loss to the Buccaneers. The doom-and-gloom outlook wasn’t good.

Jones expressed confidence in the Super Bowl-winning coach from Green Bay going into Week 2. McCarthy has shown why.

“It’s like a picture to me, a boxer, a fighter, walking out and just getting hit the best shot you absolutely could right on the chin, first step out,” Jones said. “How do you get that all back together?

“Give him his due. He has managed to right the ship, steady it, and then progressively get this team in shape to play without Dak. That’s a team-wide thing.”


TE Dalton Schultz might have tried to come back too soon from a knee sprain sustained in Week 2 against the Bengals. He went without a catch for the first time since becoming the primary option at his position following Blake Jarwin’s season-ending knee injury in the 2020 opener.


All-Pro RG Zack Martin was out of the game briefly in the third quarter after colliding with another player and favoring his right leg. … CB Jourdan Lewis, who battled a hamstring injury during training camp, was a late scratch with a groin issue. Lewis’ injury led to the first defensive snaps and first interception for rookie DaRon Bland.


90-plus — Rush is the fifth QB in league history, and first for the Cowboys, to have a passer rating of at least 90 in each of his first four career starts. The 107.5 rating against the Commanders was the best of those four games.


The Super Bowl champs will have Dallas’ attention in LA. Looming for the defending NFC East champion, though, is currently undefeated — and division-leading — Philadelphia in prime time Oct. 16.


More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Winning Rush gives Cowboys luxury of time on Prescott return