Former Dallas Cowboys QB, Cooper Rush, has the inside track at the NY Giants’ backup quarterback job for a number of reasons.
If you’re not familiar with the name Cooper Rush you should probably start getting familiar with it now. After being raised from a pup in Dallas under former head coach and new Giants offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett, Rush was claimed off waivers by the NY Giants earlier this month.
The move went under the radar for the most part, but I truly believe Rush will end up winning the backup quarterback job. For starters, he’s just 26-years-old and the team has to be looking for a long-term backup; Cooper Rush could be just that.
Jason Garrett has an eye for quarterbacks, having developed another undrafted quarterback into a star by the name of Tony Romo. While I’m certainly not predicting that Rush will have the type of career Romo had by any means – or that he’ll even start games – having Jason Garrett feel like you’re worth developing is a big deal.
Rush joined the Cowboys immediately after the 2017 NFL Draft where many projected him to be a late-round pick. After having to fend off some competition in 2017, Rush became to primary backup late in that season and kept the job all the way through 2018 and 2019.
With the Cowboys only dressing two quarterbacks a week, Jason Garrett had to feel strongly that Rush could play at a high level as he was always one play away from being the team’s starter.
Rush played his college ball at Central Michigan and finished his career with 12,891 passing yards on a 63% completion rate to go along with 90 touchdowns and 55 interceptions as a four-year starter. While the interceptions are a concern, Rush can clearly sling it when he gets the opportunity.
That opportunity never came in Dallas due to the ultra-durable Dak Prescott being at the helm (Prescott has yet to miss a game in his four-year career) and hopefully we’ll never have to see him play for the NY Giants, either.
Cooper Rush’s advantages
For starters, Cooper Rush knows Jason Garrett’s playbook inside and out, which is going to be a humungous advantage in this virtual type offseason. He’s also much younger than the team’s other backup options in newly signed Colt McCoy and journeyman Alex Tanney.
Jason Garrett clearly vouched for him to make him a NY Giant, and that is going to have to play at least some factor in whether or not he wins the job. Rush has to like his chances of beating out McCoy and Tanney as neither has done anything or worth in quite some time (if ever, in Tanney’s case).
Rush is 6’3 and a solid 230 pounds while also being more fleet of foot than you’d expect, which profiles him closer to Daniel Jones than either of the other two veterans. That’s no small thing, as coaches often like to have their backup be similar to their starter in case that starter happens to go down.
How the contracts shake out
Earlier in the offseason, the Cowboys had slapped a $2.1M RFA (restricted free agent) tender on Rush, as it seemed like the team was keen on keeping him even after Jason Garrett left town. That’s a bargain for a solid, young backup quarterback, although the team would be able to cut him with zero financial ramifications.
Colt McCoy signed with the NY Giants earlier this offseason, but the vet only inked a guaranteed contract worth $1.5M. Should Rush win the job, McCoy could hang around as the team’s #3 QB as rosters expanded by a couple of spots in this year’s new CBA, or the team could simply cut him.
Hopefully, this is finally the end of the Alex Tanney experiment, as the definition of a journeyman, Tanney offers little in terms of actually being able to play football at a high level. He has been kept around mostly as moral support in the quarterback room, and head coach Joe Judge has stated over and over again that mentors will not be needed on his NY Giants; that’s what coaches are for.
The NY Giants would also suffer zero cap ramifications by finally moving on from Tanney.
Tanney checks in at 32-years-old, while McCoy is 33 himself.
The NY Giants have had a revolving door at the backup quarterback position for quite some time now, so why not work on developing a long-term answer that has the blessing of Jason Garret?