The Dallas Cowboys, who entered the 2018 season with much optimism after putting up almost 300 points, lost two of their most explosive players in Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant. The replacement at running back didn’t exactly pan out, and the team’s offense spent the season trying to look good without the likes of Allen Hurns and Terrance Williams to throw to.
The season was not without the occasional highlight, but the Cowboys failed to score at least 30 points in 10 of their 14 games — leading many to predict a repeat of 2016, when they missed the playoffs.
Now, the Cowboys are in trouble, having gone from being playoff contenders to hurting themselves with poor quarterback play, after losing in Minnesota 20-16 to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
With the game still in progress in the fourth quarter, it appeared that Dak Prescott had sealed the win for the Cowboys, completing a 19-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams with nine seconds left on the clock. The Minnesota Vikings would be unable to advance the ball past midfield, ensuring that it would be Dallas’ quarterback who would stand in victory formation.
The quarterback that stood in victory formation was Cooper Rush, who had been known until that point for playing backup duties behind Prescott, and did not receive any action to this point in the game. But with Prescott sidelined due to a potentially season-ending injury suffered on the final play of the first half, Rush was given a shot to get the Cowboys back on track.
Much like a certain MVP candidate did on Sunday, Rush responded, throwing for 200 yards and two touchdowns in Dallas’ return to action. He was able to navigate the offense with control, steering the Cowboys to 15 straight points.
In a game that had seen both teams struggle to find themselves, Rush’s aggressive play was crucial in getting Dallas into field goal range.
By the time the final whistle blew, the Cowboys would outgain the Vikings, 398 yards to 246, en route to their first win of the season. The outcome now puts the Cowboys in a great position, with only two opponents remaining on their schedule. But with Prescott’s injury, the pressure is on Rush to keep his good play going.