Many expected the Cowboys to flounder in the absence of Dak Prescott, sometime over the next two weeks after fracturing his thumb in Dallas' season-opener. While the Cowboys' offense hasn't been perfect, it certainly has not faltered with Prescott out and veteran backup quarterback Cooper Rush under center.
The Cowboys are 2-0 with Rush as their starting quarterback this season following Monday night's 23-16 road win over the Giants, the team that briefly employed Rush in 2020 before he returned to Dallas. Rush now has a 3-0 career record as the Cowboys' starting quarter, as he won his first start during the Cowboys' win over the Vikings in Week 8 of the 2021 season. Rush has joined Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach and Jason Garrett as the only quarterbacks in franchise history to win their first three starts.
Staubach was 27 years old when he began his NFL career in 1969 after fulfilling his commitment with the Navy. He won his only start as a rookie and was 2-1 as a starter in 1970 while helping the Cowboys reach the franchise's first Super Bowl, a 16-13 loss to the Colts.
After waffling with his decision for the first half of the 1971 season, Cowboys coach Tom Landry finally decided to stick with Staubach as his starter in Week 8. Staubach won that game and would proceed to win each of his 10 starts during the regular season. He then led Dallas to three more wins in the playoffs that included his MVP performance in the Cowboys' 24-3 win over Miami in Super Bowl VI. Staubach went on to enjoy a decorated career that included another Super Bowl win in 1977 and his Hall of Fame induction in 1985.
Happy 80th Birthday to Roger Staubach🎂— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) February 5, 2022
⭐ 2x Super Bow Champion
⭐ Super Bowl MVP (VI)
⭐ Heisman Trophy
⭐ 6x Pro-Bowl
⭐ NFL 1970s All-Decade Team
⭐ NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team
⭐ Cowboys Ring of Honor
⭐ NFL Man of the Year (1978)pic.twitter.com/SyMdiXeNv8
Garrett didn't have the same success, but he did retire with as many Super Bowl rings as Staubach. Troy Aikman's backup throughout his time in Dallas, Garrett went 1-0 as a starter during the Cowboys' successful defense of their Super Bowl title in 1993. He won his lone start in 1994 while helping the Cowboys reach their third consecutive NFC title game. Garrett wouldn't start another game until 1998, when he went 3-2 in relief of an injured Aikman. He posted a career record of 6-3 before spending his final season with the Giants.
Like Garrett, the 28-year-old Rush has proven to be a capable starting quarterback when called upon. He had his best game to date on Monday night, going 21 of 31 for 215 yards that included his game-winning touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb with 8:37 left.
"Yeah, that's the job," Rush said when asked about providing adequate play with Prescott out, via NFL Media. "You've got to come in and you've got to play well every week. That's how this league works at every position. Week-in and week-out you've got to show up and you know we were able to build some momentum last week and it carried into this week, and we just don't hurt ourselves and keep staying on track and making plays, I think we'll do alright."