So long as Cooper Rush plays up to his abilities, the Dallas Cowboys plan to stick with him as the starting quarterback until Dak Prescott returns from his thumb injury.

Rush, who's only ever appeared in games with the Cowboys dating back to his debut in 2017, gets the nod Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the plan is to keep him as the starter for the next three or four games.

"We've seen him step in and win a game last year," one source said, referring to his 20-16 victory over the Vikings in Week 8. "He knows the offensive system inside and out. He gets rid of the ball quickly. His ability to communicate with the offensive line, wide receivers and running backs to get us in the right play. Coach on the field [with a] calm nature."

If the Cowboys had any intentions of trading for a quarterback in the hours after Prescott injured his thumb last Sunday night, those intentions dissipated when it became clear Prescott may not miss two months but instead closer to a month of time.

Rush went undrafted out of Central Michigan in 2017 and came to the Cowboys as the fourth QB on the depth chart. He finished the preseason with one of the highest passer ratings among qualified throwers that preseason. He climbed up the depth chart that year to No. 2, surpassing his now-offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, in the process.

Rush was an actuarial science major at Central Michigan, and his brain is a big reason why the Cowboys feel so comfortable with him.

"He's an elite student of the game. A heavy prep guy, which is why he was able to do what he did in Minnesota last year," a league source said. "Silent assassin. Stealth. Calm. Coop is no slouch."

Rush got No. 1 reps during one Week 1 practice when Prescott exited with a sore ankle due to his cleats. He's gotten the full share of No. 1 reps this week. And he's the last quarterback with whom CeeDee Lamb collaborated to tally at least 100 receiving yards in a single game.