FRISCO, Texas -- For those of you wondering if the Dallas Cowboys would really go into the regular season with an undrafted free agent as Dak Prescott's backup quarterback, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan offered up a quick history lesson.
"We went into the season with a rookie quarterback (starting) last year and I don't know that that was part of the plan to begin with," Linehan said. "We haven't really assessed that. We've still got two more games. We have a five-game preseason schedule so these next two games will factor in that. As long as guys are ready, the age of them isn't as big a concern as you'd think."
Prescott became the starter after Tony Romo suffered a compression fracture in his back during the Cowboys' third preseason game. The Cowboys toyed with adding a seasoned veteran, and eventually added Mark Sanchez, but never moved off from Prescott as their starter.
Cooper Rush, undrafted out of Central Michigan, has inserted himself into the backup equation with Kellen Moore based on how he has performed in the first three preseason games: 26-of-38, 283 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Moore has struggled in the last two games, leading the Cowboys to just two field goals.
"I just think he's got that moxie, kind of that quiet confidence," Linehan said of Rush. "He doesn't say a lot for a guy that plays the position. But I don't really think we have a lot of big talkers in our group. A lot of guys that play with confidence and know how to play and they show that with how they command the room with those guys in the huddle and on the ball. So really think that's a really good trait to have. He's been playing quarterback his whole life, through high school, through college and now he's a rookie in the NFL so you can tell he has a really good grasp of how to play the position."
Moore and Rush have split the second-team snaps this week in practice.
Linehan said he is not down on Moore. He said Moore had his best week of practice leading into the third preseason game and put some of the offensive maladies on the group, not just the quarterback. Linehan has a history with Moore, dating back to their time together with the Detroit Lions, but he said it does not cloud the evaluation.
"I have a relationship with Dak Prescott, too. I have one with Luke McCown. So I have a relationship with all the quarterbacks, so, no, it's not difficult at all," Linehan said. "We all have to have a certain kind of relationship with each other, so no, not at all. I separate them all. You've got to be very objective in your approach. Kellen was with me for two years in Detroit and so he had a background of what we did there, which was quite different than what we do here."