Jerry Jones backs Rush as Cowboys QB amid Jimmy G rumors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
With Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott expected to miss significant time this season after sustaining a thumb injury Sunday night, the NFL world instantly began speculating whether or not Dallas could end up making a trade for a certain 49ers backup.
But as quickly as the Jimmy Garoppolo-to-Dallas rumors began, have they already been shut down?
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones seemingly put ideas of a trade for Garoppolo -- or any quarterback, for that matter -- to bed Sunday when speaking to Jori Epstein of USA TODAY Sports after his team’s 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Dallas backup quarterback Cooper Rush finished Sunday’s game after Prescott came out. The Cowboys’ QB1 will require surgery on his throwing hand and reportedly could miss six to eight weeks, but Jones believes Rush still gives the team a chance to be successful in the meantime.
“He can play at a level that we can win ball games,” Jones told Epstein. “The main thing about him as a backup quarterback is we didn’t have to alter the offense to have him. That’s a good thing to have continuity. That’s the main reason he won the job. Just count on him. He threw a couple of good balls out there.”
Garoppolo certainly is viewed by many as an upgrade, ability- and experience-wise, for Dallas over Rush, who finished the Cowboys’ loss to the Bucs by completing 7 of 13 passes for 64 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
But Garoppolo wouldn’t be able to provide that continuity Jones spoke of, whereas Rush has been with the Cowboys since they signed him as an undrafted rookie in 2017. One quarterback would need plenty of time to learn the offense, while the other knows the playbook inside and out.
Rush has appeared in 12 Cowboys games and started once, leading Dallas to a 20-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings last season while Prescott was sidelined with a calf strain.
The situation the 28-year-old signal-caller finds himself in this season is much different when it comes to the players he’s surrounded by. But Jones believes Rush has a chance to prove himself, telling Epstein that the dilemma reminds him of Prescott’s rookie year when he started Week 1 in place of an injured Tony Romo.
“Candidly, we have to look at it, and I don’t see this in the horizon, but I’m going to use it as an example, of how I felt when Tony Romo went down against Seattle,” Jones told Epstein. “And how I felt two and a half, three months later, when you had to make a decision whether Tony was starting or Dak.”
To be compared to both Romo and Prescott shows how highly Jones values Rush’s skill set. And if there’s anyone a quarterback wants singing his praises, it’s the owner of the team he plays for.
Jones' vocal support of Rush seems to dispel any notion that the team could trade for Garoppolo, and the 49ers veteran would have to approve any deal for him as part of his restructured contract with San Francisco.
On Monday, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport was on KNBR's “Murph & Mac” show and said he isn’t hearing any interest out of Dallas when it comes to Garoppolo. Rapoport noted the 49ers might not want to move their backup quarterback after the team’s poor offensive showing with Trey Lance under center against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
“I know it’s Trey’s team and they really have moved on, but one week, trade away your backup?” Rapoport said. “Unless you’re going to get a really good return, like a third-rounder or something legitimate, I’m not sure it makes sense for the 49ers.”
He added that while Rush is an unknown backup in comparison to Garoppolo, it’s clear the Cowboys believe he is the answer within their system.
“They’re going to give Cooper Rush a shot, he’s going to start,” Rapoport said. “And if Dak is out two months and Cooper Rush can’t do it, maybe they trade for Garoppolo. But I don’t know if it makes sense to trade a premium draft pick for like, a month of games.”
It looks like when it comes to trading Garoppolo -- to Dallas or anywhere else -- the 49ers Faithful will just have to wait and see if a deal emerges.
But hey, they’ve gotten pretty good at that in recent months. Right?