Called upon to step in for Dak Prescott, the Central Michigan product has been a pleasant surprise — let’s explore the details of the Cowboys’ Cooper Rush contract.
In the absence of Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush has kept the Dallas Cowboys in the hunt to win the NFC East. Five games into the season, Rush has accomplished precisely what every NFL coach expects from a backup QB: Manage the clock and don’t turn the ball over. And although Prescott was never going to be sidelined forever, Rush has proven during his time in the spotlight that “Dem Boys” don’t have to rely solely on their franchise QB to win games.
In so many ways, Cooper Rush is redefining his value before our eyes — and potentially setting himself up for a meritorious pay raise come the offseason.
With Prescott out, Rush has shown leadership, passing prowess, and the ability to win, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for Mike McCarthy and Co. Rush posted a 93.9 passer through his first four starts of the season, a Cowboys franchise record that even Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, Tony Romo, and Prescott cannot match.
Good play commands good pay, so let’s dive into the details of the Cowboys’ non-guaranteed Cooper Rush contract ahead of his upcoming free agency after the season.
Cooper Rush Contract Details & Salary
Salary data via Spotrac
- Years: 2
- Total value: $1,955,000
- Total guaranteed: None
- Free Agency: 2023
Rush signed a two-year, $1,955,000 contract with Dallas that started in 2021 and features an average annual salary of $977,500. To put that into perspective, 40 players on the Cowboys’ active roster take home more cash based on AAV. At this point, the key question surrounding Cooper Rush is not if he’s consistent enough to be an NFL quarterback, but how much it would cost for either Dallas to keep him or another team to lure him away.
Right now, the 2022 class of NFL backup quarterback salaries accounts for approximately $117.7 million in combined AAV obligations across the league; the highest-paid by total cash compensation this season Panthers QB Sam Darnold at $7.5 million, followed by Pittsburgh’s Mitchell Trubisky ($7,142,500), San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo ($7,000,000), and Miami’s Teddy Bridgewater ($6,500,000).
(Yes, some of the above players are starters as of this writing, but our scope includes guys who were intended to be reserves at time of signing.)
Rush is surely considered among the best backup QBs in the league at this point, but he notably doesn’t even crack the top 10 of reserve QB salaries as things currently stand. With that in mind, regardless of the Cowboys’ plans moving ahead, this signal-caller is likely to receive a welcome pay bump on his next deal.
Maybe it’s the power of the star on the side of the helmet that propels his popularity into the kind of payday past breakout names like Nick Foles and Case Keenum once experienced. Perhaps it’s because Rush has the ‘Boys competing for the top spot in one of the NFL’s most surprisingly good divisions.
In any event, good quarterback play pays.
Even if you’re an undrafted redhead from the midwest.
Cooper Rush’s Career Earnings
CAREER BASE SALARY EARNINGS: $3,894,429
TOTAL SIGNING BONUSES: $105,000
TOTAL NFL SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2022 SEASON: $3,999,429
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