The Dallas Cowboys pulled off a thrilling upset against the Minnesota Vikings on "Sunday Night Football," and they did it without their starting quarterback. After keeping everyone in suspense all week long, the Cowboys ruled out Dak Prescott shortly before game-time, and instead rolled with backup Cooper Rush under center. And Rush had himself a heck of a game.
Rush completed 24 of 40 passes for 325 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception against a Vikings team that entered the game ranked third in pass defense efficiency, per Football Outsiders' DVOA. Rush made several huge plays throughout the evening, but the biggest of them all came on his team's final drive of the night.
With the Cowboys trailing 16-13, Rush took over from his own 25-yard line with 2:51 remaining in the fourth quarter. After an incomplete pass on first down, Rush let one rip down the right sideline to Amari Cooper. And let's be honest here ... he got pretty lucky. The ball bounced off Vikings defensive back Bashaud Breeland's hands and chest, then off Cooper's hands, before Cooper ultimately hauled it in for a 33-yard gain.
Rush calmed himself down, though, and continued moving the Cowboys down the field. Even after a holding penalty set his team back with a third-and-11 at Minnesota's 20-yard line, Rush got the ball into the hands of Ezekiel Elliott -- who made an incredible individual effort to pick up a key first down, setting the Cowboys up at the 5-yard line.
And that's when Cooper Rush and Amari Cooper did something that had never been done before in NFL history.
Rush's touchdown pass to Cooper, which ended up being the game-winner, was the first touchdown pass in the history of the league where the passer's first name and the receiver's last name, were the exact same name, according to the NFL's research department. Cooper to Cooper. Never happened before.
Incredibly, the Cowboys are also the only team to throw a touchdown pass where the quarterback's last name and the receiver's first name, were the exact same name. Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz last season -- in a game that was also played against the Vikings. That pass was also a game-winner, as it put the Cowboys ahead 31-28 just inside the two-minute warning.
The NFL has been around in some form or fashion since 1920, and this has only happened twice -- each of the last two years, with the same two teams, and with four different players, but with each play having the same result. That's just incredible stuff.
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