The Dallas Cowboys are hoping quarterback Dak Prescott makes a speedy recovery from his thumb injury, but they appeared to find an adequate replacement in Cooper Rush, who led them to a 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters that Prescott's return will be depend on his ability to grip a football, but he was very impressed with Rush.
"He exceeded my expectations," Jones said. "The performance out here by Rush sure takes a lot of angst out of it."
Rush played a fairly clean game Sunday, completing 19 of 31 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown. He engineered 75-yard touchdown drives on the Cowboys' first two possessions after they failed to reach the end zone in the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He then led Dallas down the field with under a minute left in the fourth quarter to set up the game-winning 50-yard field goal by Brett Maher.
The 28-year-old is now 2-0 as a starter in his five-year career. It was Rush's first start since Oct. 31 last year when he led the Cowboys to a win over the Minnesota Vikings while filling in for Prescott, who was out with a strained calf at the time.
While Jones praised Rush for his effort, he added that it won't have an effect on the timeline for Prescott's return this year. The team didn't place him on injured reserve, as Jones said last week that there's an expectation that he could be back within the next four games despite the original recovery timeline of six to eight weeks.
For now, the Cowboys appear to be in good hands while they have to rely on Rush. Dallas will take on the NFC East-rival New York Giants on Monday Night Football next week.