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Mike McCarthy: ‘There is no quarterback controversy. Dak’s our starter.”

Mike McCarthy Dak Prescott
Mike McCarthy said Dak Prescott is the starter, shutting down any QB controversy speculation Friday. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Mike McCarthy: ‘There is no quarterback controversy. Dak’s our starter.”

On Thursday, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones commented that he wanted to have a quarterback controversy between Dak Prescott, who’s currently sidelined with a thumb injury, and backup Cooper Rush, who picked up his second career victory as Cowboys starter last weekend.

“Of course I would. Of course. That means we’d have won,” Jones told reporters Thursday. “If he comes in there and plays as well as Prescott played, Rush ? Played that well over these next games ahead? I’d walk to New York to get that.

Dak and I want Rush to lead the team to a victory here and get another win and get another win. That’s the only way to look at it. Looking back when Dak was playing instead of Tony, it was game by game. It wasn’t the long look we had after two months to look back. It was actually play by play, almost series by series. So do I think that it’s possible for Rush to come in here and play at a level to win games the way Prescott did when he took over for Romo? Yes I do. Yes I do. I certainly think that’s possible

Full quotes here:

Jones’ comments were a little unusual, given that you don’t often hear a general manager/owner outright say they want a quarterback competition between the team’s top two quarterbacks. That’s especially the case when the typical starter is as good as Prescott — who’s one year removed from signing a four-year, $160 million extension — and since it typically invites more drama.

Head coach Mike McCarthy immediately dispelled those quarterback controversies Friday, citing that Prescott — who could return as early as Week 4 against the Washington Commanders — will be the teams starting quarterback.

“When you look at the whole thing and particularly the start, it (the message) is about winning, and that’s all we really care about,” McCarthy said, via Cowboys team reporter Rob Phillips. “But there is no quarterback controversy. Dak’s our starter.”

When healthy, Prescott has been a top-10 quarterback for the last few seasons. Since the start of the 2019 season, he’s completed 66.7 percent of his passes 11,341 yards, 76 touchdowns to just 26 interceptions. Over a 17-game season, those averages equate to 5074 yards, 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

In the wake, Jones also clarified his comments Friday.

“I don’t believe there’s anybody in the world that doesn’t understand how much I appreciate Dak Prescott — his skills, and to have him for the future and the future being right now, really,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “But the point is that if players play at a level to where you’ve got people debating how are you using them with their skills or as to who ought to be out there or who is not when they’re playing at that level, that’s a positive.

“We don’t have anybody that would really, deep down, like to see Cooper Rush play to that level more than Dak because that enhances it for all of us,” Jones added. “Because we know we’re going to need every ounce of every person on this team’s best play.”

Full comments here:

Regardless, both Rush and Prescott will have to continue kick-starting the Cowboys’ passing game over the next several weeks. Before got hurt, Prescott struggled in his lone start against a stout Tampa defense — completing 14 of his 29 attempts for 134 yards and one interception.

Rush did a respectable job against Cincinnati, going 19-for-31 with 235 yards and one touchdown. At the time of this publishing, the Cowboys’ Friday injury report hasn’t been released, but the Cowboys could be getting back wideout Michael Gallup, who was a full participant in practice on Thursday, this week.

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