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Cooper Rush, CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys Fantasy Outlook After Dak Prescott's Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 12, 2022

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The spotlight once again belongs to Cooper Rush after Dallas Cowboys star Dak Prescott suffered a hand injury in Sunday's season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Cowboys CEO Jerry Jones told reporters after the game that Prescott will be out "for a while" and is expected to miss several weeks because he requires surgery. Jones added that Rush will be the team's starter going forward.

"We'll have to have Cooper step up," Jones said. "He'll get all the reps, and we'll go from there."

Rush threw for 64 yards on 7-of-13 passing after replacing Prescott against Tampa Bay. He filled in for Prescott once in 2021 and far exceeded everyone's expectations. He went 24-of-40 for 325 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Fantasy managers will hope that wasn't a mirage, though he may be a risky play until he proves what he can do on a consistent basis.

When it comes to CeeDee Lamb, the calculus remains the same regardless of whether Prescott or Rush is the quarterback. Through his first two seasons, Lamb caught 153 passes for 2,037 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The departure of Amari Cooper meant the 2020 first-round pick was the unquestioned No. 1 option in the passing game, so he should get plenty of targets from Rush. In that aforementioned Vikings game, Lamb caught six passes for 112 yards. However, he was held to two catches for 29 yards against the Bucs.

Betting on Dalton Schultz to continue delivering starter-worthy numbers at tight end is a sensible decision, too. Schultz figures to be a big beneficiary if Dallas simplifies the offense a bit for Rush and limits how frequently it asks him to make downfield throws. Schultz finished with a team-high seven receptions for 62 yards on Sunday.

Beyond Lamb and Schultz, the outlook is too murky.

Michael Gallup is coming off a torn ACL and watched his yards per catch decline over the next two years after averaging 16.8 in 2019. James Washington was mostly a nonfactor during his four years with the Pittsburgh Steelers before opening the season on injured reserve. Third-round draft pick Jalen Tolbert could emerge as a threat but is totally unproven right now.

None of the three warrants a regular place in your starting lineup when Prescott is healthy, and that's especially true with Rush under center.

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