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Cooper Rush 'Clutch as It Gets' as Cowboys Beat Joe Burrow, Bengals on Last-Second FG

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 18, 2022

Cooper Neill/Getty Images

What a moment for Cooper Rush.

It was easy to write the Dallas Cowboys off after they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and saw quarterback Dak Prescott suffer a fractured thumb in Week 1, but the backup quarterback did just enough to lead his side to a 20-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Sunday's contest.

Rush impressed at 19-of-31 passing for 235 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions and led the team into field-goal range at the end, but Brett Maher still had to play the role of hero and make the 50-yarder as time expired.

NFL @NFL

DALLAS COWBOYS 50 YARD FIELD GOAL FOR THE WIN! <a href="https://twitter.com/dallascowboys?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dallascowboys</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CINvsDAL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CINvsDAL</a> <a href="https://t.co/NpMsccEt4s">pic.twitter.com/NpMsccEt4s</a>

He did just that, and social media had plenty of praise for Rush as he improved to 2-0 as a starter after also defeating the Minnesota Vikings last season:

NFL @NFL

Cooper Rush to Noah Brown for the <a href="https://twitter.com/dallascowboys?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DallasCowboys</a> TD!<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CINvsDAL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CINvsDAL</a> on CBS<br>📱: Stream on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/AyfpfGIkql">https://t.co/AyfpfGIkql</a> <a href="https://t.co/oxBY71tEh6">pic.twitter.com/oxBY71tEh6</a>

Bill Simmons @BillSimmons

The Ewing Theory Committee just flew to Dallas for the second half to monitor this developing Cooper Rush/Dak Prescott situation.

Jason Gallagher @jga41agher

Tony Pollard, Cooper Rush, Noah Brown today <a href="https://t.co/92HGvQbUJT">pic.twitter.com/92HGvQbUJT</a>

Mike Golic Jr @mikegolicjr

Cooper Rush &gt; Color Rush

Brad Evans @NoisyHuevos

Cooper Rush out here trying to be Kurt Warner all over again.

NFL @NFL

Tony Pollard. 47 yards!<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CINvsDAL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CINvsDAL</a> on CBS<br>📱: Stream on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/AyfpfGIkql">https://t.co/AyfpfGIkql</a> <a href="https://t.co/3hgoBHpER7">pic.twitter.com/3hgoBHpER7</a>

Cameron Magruder @ScooterMagruder

If you ever saw me post anything negative about Cooper Rush I was joking

Ed Werder @WerderEdESPN

Backup Cooper Rush executing offense at high level. Defensive line having a stat day. Cowboys lead Bengals at halftime, 17-3, just as we all expected.

RJ Ochoa @rjochoa

Cooper Rush is out here SLINGING it. My word.

Cameron Magruder @ScooterMagruder

I’ve always had faith in Cooper Rush and I have never doubted him ever in my life a single time

Dallas Cowboys Public Relations @DallasCowboysPR

Cooper Rush's passer rating of 155.8 in the first quarter today is the 10th-highest in a first quarter by a Cowboys passer since 1991 (when data became available), and the highest since Prescott posted a perfect 158.3 rating against Cleveland (10/4/20).

Rush wasted no time making an impact, leading 75-yard touchdown drives on each of the Cowboys' first two possessions. He showed an immediate chemistry with Noah Brown—who had five catches for 91 yards and a touchdown—and Tony Pollard also ran for a touchdown.

It wasn't all Rush, as the Dallas defense came through for much of the game even after the offense stalled following the hot start. The Cowboys sacked Joe Burrow six times and pressured him even more with Micah Parsons and Dorance Armstrong leading a strong effort along the defensive front.

NFL @NFL

Another two-sack game for <a href="https://twitter.com/MicahhParsons11?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MicahhParsons11</a> 🦁<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CINvsDAL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CINvsDAL</a> on CBS<br>📱: Stream on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/AyfpfGIkql">https://t.co/AyfpfGIkql</a> <a href="https://t.co/5SD97dLmsw">pic.twitter.com/5SD97dLmsw</a>

Bill Barnwell @billbarnwell

Micah Parsons has Cincinnati's tackles in hell.

The offensive line was a major problem for the Bengals last season even as they advanced to the Super Bowl, and that appears to be the case again in 2022.

Yet the mood is far more celebratory in Dallas thanks to Rush and the defense. The backup quarterback will look to keep things rolling in Week 3 against the New York Giants.

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