EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Cooper Rush was the quarterback who got the win, who got the invite to the media podium, who got the call-back to exit the post-game locker room and re-visit the field at MetLife Stadium so he could be interviewed live on the ESPN "Monday Night Football'' telecast.
"“Yeah, no one grabbed me,” the quiet Rush said with a shrug and an awkward smile. “I don’t know. It’s not my job to worry about that.”
Meanwhile, the other Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Dak Prescott - remember him? - was smiling, too, showing off his thumb brace to a handful of reporters, explaining how simply Monday's pregame stitches-removal procedure was - "You could've (performed) it!'' he told the aforementioned reporters - and with subtlety suggesting that he doesn't want to put a limiting date on when he might return from the hand surgery that has sidelined him for two weeks.
"I can kind of grip it right now!'' he insisted, and indeed, before what would become a Rush-led 23-16 win at the Giants, Dak couldn't resist some throwing-hand soft-tossing with an actual football.
Not throwing a yellow workout ball.
Sort-of-real throwing with what amounts to four-and-a-half fingers.
Three different times during the casual conversation, we looped back to the question about his availability. CowboysSI.com has been told that Week 6, Sunday night October 16 at Philadelphia, is the target date.
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Three different times, Prescott seemed to leave open the idea of playing in Week 4 - like, now - on Sunday against the visiting Washington Commanders. ... but then, all three times, he steered the conversation away from him and toward his praise for Rush, for receiver CeeDee Lamb, and for the coach Mike McCarthy-keyed "resilience'' of these Cowboys.
"We should be talking about them,'' he finally said, "the cheerleader'' politely excusing himself from the group.
The Dak "when'' forecast has become a Ouija board, fingers sliding and almost-random interpretations being made. The fact is that while the stitches are gone, the swelling is not. And if the swelling isn't gone, the healing hasn't arrived.
Said coach Mike McCarthy on Tuesday: "He got the stitches out ... Once he gets past the swelling and the strengthening stage, then he’ll get to the point where he’ll be able to throw. He’ll be dealing with more rehab this week and hopefully we’ll get the swelling and the strength where it needs to be.
"But I do not have a timeline on when he will start throwing.''
None of this means we shouldn't be talking about Dak Prescott, right along with talking about Cooper Rush. But it does mean that Rush has earned his place at the podium ... and amid the Jerry Jones-led silliness of a possible "QB controversy,'' it's a positive that Prescott has a "grip'' on all of it.
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