They'll remember Cooper Rush's name in Dallas for a long, long time.
The Dallas Cowboys gambled and won big on Sunday night. They sat Dak Prescott, who has a calf injury, playing it safe with their best player. They probably didn't figure on Rush leading a win, but they'll take it.
After the Vikings took a late 16-13 lead, Rush led an impressive drive downfield. Ezekiel Elliott had a remarkable effort on a third down, breaking tackles to get a first down to the 5-yard line. A fantastic pass-and-catch from Rush to Amari Cooper was the go-ahead touchdown with 51 seconds left. The Cowboys defense got a final stop and Dallas held on to an unlikely 20-16 win. Rush had 325 yards and two touchdowns.
Before Sunday, Rush had only three career passing attempts. After Sunday, he'll have a Clint Longley-esque place in Cowboys lore.
Cowboys were without Dak Prescott
Prescott had a chance to play. He worked out before the game. The Cowboys decided to play it safe and give their quarterback another week.
Rush played well. He threw for more than 300 yards. Rush made one huge throw to keep the Cowboys in the game as the offense was struggling to score, reading that the safeties had vacated the middle of the field and hitting Cedrick Wilson over the middle for a 73-yard touchdown. That tied the game 10-10.
While the Cowboys offensive issues early in the game were predictable, the Vikings shouldn't have struggled so much to move the ball. Dallas played well on defense, rarely allowing any Vikings ballcarrier any space. Minnesota had a great first drive, going 75 yards and getting Adam Thielen in the end zone. But the Vikings did almost nothing after that.
Then penalties got a Vikings drive going. There was a bad roughing-the-passer penalty and then two more penalties on Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory. The penalties helped a stagnant offense get a field goal and a 16-13 lead.
Rush, however, came up big on the next drive.
Cowboys put together a late drive
With the Cowboys trailing 16-13, Rush calmly led a drive. He hit Amari Cooper for 33 and 18 yards. The Cowboys quickly got into field-goal range. A holding penalty on guard Connor Williams moved the Cowboys back. A weird delay-of-game penalty, when the Vikings tried calling two straight timeouts, helped get the Cowboys closer, then Elliott made a tremendous play to break through two tackles and get a first down. That set up a touchdown on a perfectly placed pass in the end zone to Cooper, who made a great grab and got down in bounds.
There was still time for the Vikings. The Vikings couldn't get much going and the game ended on a Cousins incompletion as time ran out.
For the Vikings, it was a horrible loss at home to fall to 3-4. For the Cowboys, they're 6-1 and should feel like they stole a win, thanks to a backup who'd never done anything in the NFL before his moment in the prime-time spotlight.