Browns Pitched as Suitor for Cowboys QB in Free Agency

Cooper Rush

Getty Images Cooper Rush of the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cleveland Browns will be in the market for a backup quarterback this offseason and one interesting name that has been floated is Dallas Cowboys backup Cooper Rush.

Rush is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career and is coming off a resume-building season with the Cowboys where he went 4-1 in relief of Dak Prescott.

Rush had the benefit of a solid running game and stellar defense in Dallas during his starts, but he did his part, passing for 1,051 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions — all of those picks coming against the Philadelphia Eagles in his final start.

Rush was pitched as an option for the Browns in free agency by Eddie McDonald of Dawg Pound Daily.

“Now, he could very well return to the Cowboys, but should that not be the case, Cleveland would be wise to take a shot and try and land him. He could be the perfect backup to Watson, even if it’s only for the 2023 season.”

Rush proved to be a solid game manager and his play even sparked rumbles of a quarterback controversy in Dallas. However, he’d be an interesting choice to back up Watson, considering he doesn’t possess a fraction of the athleticism and the playbook will likely be built around the former passing leader’s dynamic skill set.

And with Rush proving his worth last season, he could try to seek out a spot where he could at least compete for a starting role with his stock at an all-time high.

“It will be exciting and we’ll see what happens,” Rush told Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News. “I’ve never been a free agent before and we’ll see what happens. It’s uncharted territory we’ll get there when we get there.”

Gardner Minshew, Mike White and former Browns QB Nick Mullens were other options floated. The Browns could also opt to roll out Kellen Mond as their backup next season. Mond — a former third-round pick in 2021 — was claimed by the Browns after he was let go by the Minnesota Vikings

Rush Had Solid College Career at Central Michigan

Prior to this season, Rush had not had very limited opportunity to get on the field. After going undrafted in 2017, he signed Cowboys as an undrafted free agent and has spent nearly his entire career in Dallas. He admitted his familiarity with the system in Dallas and his supporting cast helped him quite a bit when his number was called.

“It helped me being in the system a long time,”  Rush told Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News. “Obviously the team we have around us and the defense, it makes playing quarterback a little less stressful. When you have good players around you trust in them and you just do your job and that’s all you can focus on.”

Rush played his college ball at Central Michigan, where he had a highly successful career. He is the Chippewas’ all-time leader in passing yards (12,891), touchdown passes (90), and completions (1,015). He was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2016.

Jacoby Brissett Unlikely to Return After Strong Showing

With Watson suspended for the first 11 games of the season, the Browns relied on Jacoby Brissett to hold down the fort at QB. Frankly, Brissett outplayed expectations despite his 4-7 record as the starter. He completed 64% of his passes for 2,608 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.

“Jacoby has been amazing for us,” running back Nick Chubb said in November. “He’s a great person overall and a very good player. He’s done a lot of great things here. I love him. I love playing beside him. It’s been great playing beside him. I know this last game he’s going to give it his all for us.”

Much like Rush, Brissett will have suitors in free agency thanks to what he put on tape last season. The 30-year-old QB will also likely search for a spot where he can compete for a starting role.

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