The Cowboys’ signal-caller is still the center of attention in Dallas. Dak Prescott was back in the building on Thursday, but in a new capacity… and the team is rallying around the backup who’ll lead them in Week 2. The Bengals aren’t taking Cooper Rush lightly, though, with both their defensive coordinator and an ex-Cowboy providing preview reports. But how much slack will the Cowboys actually cut their QB2?
Elsewhere, Ja’Marr Chase is jawing about a rematch with Trevon Diggs, the Cowboys look to re-establish the run, and why is Jalen Tolbert still M.I.A.? Kellen Moore catches heat for the offense’s ice-cold performance, Micah Parsons gets a boost from an unlikely (read: rival) source, and why exactly is one legendary Cowboy not enshrined in Canton? We’ve got reasons to watch every game this weekend, an outlook on Dak’s return to the field, and the fascinating ways in which more and more NFL teams are gathering scouting intel… on officials. That’s all in News and Notes.
Science Lab: Short rope for Rush as starting QB? :: The Mothership
Rush leaned on Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup in his last Cowboys start. Neither will be in his huddle Sunday, and CeeDee Lamb hasn’t yet shown himself to be the lead dog Dallas had hoped. That uncertainty and a newly-revamped offensive line will have to be overcome by Rush if he wants to keep Will Grier’s breath off the back of his own neck. He doesn’t need to be a hero, but he needs to not be the reason the Cowboys lose.
Bengals aren't sleeping on Cowboys backup QB Cooper Rush :: Bengals Wire
Cincinnati defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo says Rush “isn’t your typical backup.” He puts the new Cowboys starter on a “different level” thanks to his having spent five years in the Dallas system and his longstanding relationship with Kellen Moore. The 2021 Minnesota Vikings would probably agree with that assessment.
Rapoport: 'Outside chance' Prescott will be ready to play Oct. 16 vs. Eagles :: NFL.com
The insider confirms that there is a slim possibility that Prescott is ready to play Week 6. Rapoport puts more stock, however, in a Week 7 or Week 8 return. Until then, since the team didn’t put him on IR, Prescott can be around the team, help Cooper Rush in practice, and be on headset for games.
Dak Prescott back at The Star to help Cowboys game plan :: Patrik Walker (Twitter)
Dak Prescott present and accounted for to help Cooper Rush and the #Cowboys prepare for the Bengals.
He will be active in game planning. pic.twitter.com/HYnkAVHadr
— Patrik [No C] Walker (@VoiceOfTheStar) September 15, 2022
Cowboys' McCarthy: Jalen Tolbert 'a step behind' other WRs, but 'crushing it in practice' :: Cowboys Wire
The third-round draft pick was thought to be an immediate plug-and-play in the Cowboys’ WR corps. But asking him to learn the whole playbook at all the receiver positions cost him special teams duty in camp, and that kept him off the roster for the season opener. Mike McCarthy maintains Tolbert will be pushing players for opportunities moving forward, even as Michael Gallup and James Washington continue their rehabs.
Cowboys abandoned run game vs Bucs; Ezekiel Elliott 'looking forward to committing to it this week' :: Cowboys Wire
Elliott started strong and stayed that way for his 10 carries Sunday, averaging 5.2 yards per tote on the night. But the team abandoned him due to third-and-long situations and a score that got gradually out of reach. “We’re a better football team when we run the ball,” he said. “We’re going to have to establish that run game, and I think we’ve got the guys to do it.”
Ex-Cowboy pins offensive blame on Kellen Moore :: Marcus Spears (Twitter)
Quick Hits: La'el Collins grateful to Jerry but happy with Bengals; LC's rushed-scouting report on new Cowboys QB :: Bengals.com
The right tackle leaped at a Cincinnati reunion with Frank Pollack, the Bengals assistant who once helped recruit him to Dallas in 2015. On Sunday, he’ll also get reacquainted with Micah Parsons after mentoring him on pass-rush strategy last season. And he’s told his new teammates that Cooper Rush is “a quality player” who’s “there for a reason. He can go out there and do some special things.”
Here's how Bengals, Cowboys will look to avoid death-sentence starts :: Cowboys Wire
Somebody is leaving AT&T Stadium on Sunday in dire shape for the 2022 season. If Dallas can win the turnover battle (and maybe add a defensive score), execute a gameplan that doesn’t ask too much of Cooper Rush, and get an improved outing from their offensive line in terms of penalties and pass protection, they could go a long way in talking the fanbase off its ledge and maybe even salvaging some hope.
Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase on Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs: 'He's a little hit or miss' :: Yardbarker
The two famously faced one another in 2019’s LSU/Alabama clash, with Chase winning the showdown that day. Now they meet in the pros; the Bengals wideout thinks he still holds the edge over Diggs. “He’s got great ball skills in the air. He’s super-fast. He’s not too technically sound, though. You know what I’m saying?” Chase said this week. “He’s either all the way or not at all, but he’s definitely a great athlete.”
NFL Week 2: Reasons to watch each game :: Cowboys Wire
The Wire editors lay out the selling points for each game on the docket this weekend. Watch the Ravens defense contend with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, look for a potential shootout between the Commanders and Lions, bounce back and forth between two Monday night games, and settle in to see if Micah Parsons can blow past La’el Collins and force Joe Burrow to commit more turnovers in Week 2.
Eagles star advocates for Cowboys' Madden rating, 'Parsons is an alien' :: Cowboys Wire
Even Chris Long has to admit that Parsons is a different kind of beast. The ex-Eagle answered Parsons’s call for help in trying to get his Madden score of 88 bumped closer to where it rightfully should be. “He’s just, like, 10 points better than anybody on that team,” Long hilariously told the adjustment hotline live on his podcast. “What are you guys smoking over there?”
Canton’s most glaring (and forgotten) omissions :: RickGosselin.com
How in the world has Cowboys defensive end Harvey Martin slipped though the cracks of Canton for so long? He set a single-season record in 1977 (that still stands) by recording 23 quarterback sacks, and he did it in just 14 games. He also happens to have more postseason sacks than anyone in history. Except the NFL only starting tallying sacks as an official stat in 1982, so neither mark counts. The Super Bowl XII MVP has been Hall eligible for 35 years; he’s never been a finalist.
How NFL teams scout the refs :: Defector
Remember the last play of the wild-card loss to San Francisco? One NFL game management coach says it’s obvious the Cowboys didn’t let umpire Ramon George know what they’d be doing on that fateful snap, or else George would have known to follow the downfield action more closely. And he easily could have; he’s “the fittest umpire in the NFL.” How would they have known that? Because this coach (along with a growing number of clubs) has a scouting report on every official in the league, to track exactly those kinds of details, tendencies, and traits that could come into play during a game.