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Mike McCarthy Reacts to Jerry Jones’s ‘Quarterback Controversy’ Quote

As has become customary over the years, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made a series of somewhat head-turning comments about the state of the team’s quarterback room earlier this week. 

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Jones said he would welcome a quarterback controversy once starter Dak Prescott is able to return from injury, as it would mean that backup Cooper Rush was performing well and the team was having success.

“Of course I would,” Jones said when asked about his desire for a quarterback controversy, per Jon Machota of The Athletic. “Of course, that means we’ve won. If he comes in and plays as well as Prescott plays—if Rush played that well over these next games ahead, I’d walk to New York to get that.”

Though Jones tried to make his point clear, some began to wonder if a quarterback competition might actually come to fruition in Dallas. However, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy made sure to clarify his boss’s remarks on Friday.

“Clearly, [to] everybody in our locker room and everybody in the building, Jerry included, Dak is our quarterback,” McCarthy said on 105.3 The Fan, per Machota. “We want Cooper to be successful as possible. So, I think it stops right there.”

Rush played well in his first start of the season on Sunday, leading Dallas to a 20–17 home win over the Bengals. He completed 19 of 31 pass attempts for 235 yards, one touchdown and no turnovers, and went 3-for-3 for 30 yards during the Cowboys’ game-winning drive. The possession culminated with a 50-yard field goal by Brett Maher as time expired.

Regardless of how well Rush plays, it’s difficult to see the Cowboys handing the starting job over to him upon Prescott’s return. Dallas signed Prescott to a four-year, $160 million contract extension that includes $126 million in guaranteed money last offseason, which would make for a steep price to pay a backup quarterback. 

But for the time being, Rush will handle the responsibilities behind center. His next test comes on Monday Night Football when the Cowboys take on the Giants.

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