Jerry Jones credits Mike McCarthy and highly-paid Dan Quinn for Dallas Cowboys success

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Cooper Rush is all the rage in Dallas and understandably so.

The world loves an underdog success story and there is no better one in the NFL right now than Rush, a career backup quarterback who has guided the Dallas Cowboys to three straight victories following a horrible season-opening loss and injury to starter Dak Prescott.

A thrice-cut Rush, who almost lost his job in training camp, is the stuff of Disney movies..

With Sunday’s 25-10 victory against Washington, Rush become the first quarterback in Cowboys history to win his first four starts, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Roger Staubach and Jason Garrett.

But when it comes to the true foundation of the Cowboys success over the first month of the season, it starts with the steady hand of coach Mike McCarthy and the play of the team’s defense lead by coordinator Dan Quinn.

McCarthy may never get the true respect he deserves until he leads the Cowboys on a deep playoff run.

But anyone if believed he didn’t know what he was doing and was just an empty golf shirt, propped by having Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback in leading him to a Super Bowl title in Green Bay, then they choose remain ignorant, obtuse and certainly haven’t been paying attention to job McCarthy has not only done since joining the Cowboys but what has transpired over the first month of the season.

McCarthy has been the head coach of the Cowboys for 37 games. Prescott has been absent for 15 of those games. McCarthy has won 8 of those 15 games, more than half without his franchise quarterback.

Now consider this season after the Cowboys got embarrassed with a 19-3 loss to Tampa Bay and then were rocked with the Prescott injury.

Most thought all hope was lost. No one, no matter what they say today, could have predicted Rush’s success — no one outside of McCarthy and the players in the locker room.

They never gave up hope. They never stopped believing in themselves. That’s due to McCarthy’s leadership and preparation.

Owner Jerry Jones, who helped foster rumors about his possible ouster following last season’s disappointing loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the wild card playoffs, should not only be handing out bouquets of compliments but he should be bending the knee and washing his feet.

“I don’t know how you could say enough about how he’s handled this team initially starting out,” Jones said. “How do you get that all back together? Give him his due. He has managed to right the ship, steady it, and then progressively get this team in shape to play without Dak. That’s a team wide thing. I think it would be an injustice not to give him the kind of credit as head coach for getting this thing right and getting it to this point.”

McCarthy has led the Cowboys to eight straight wins in the NFC East dating back to last season.

Rush and the Cowboys offense improved each week. A 3-point outing in the opener was followed by 20 points in a 20-17 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2, 23 points in a 23-16 victory against the New York Giants in Week 3 and 25 points in Week 4.

Conversely, the Cowboys defense has gone from giving up 19 points, to 17, to 16 to 10.

And even Rush knows that the Cowboys defense is the real on the field reason behind the Cowboys success.

“They’re the reason we’re winning, it’s just plain and simple,” Rush said “Those guys, I mean, 10 points in the NFL is pretty impressive. We gave them, I think they had really good field position all day. And our defense kept them out of the end zone, kept getting them off the field. As an offense, knowing they have your back like that, it’s huge. One of their messages is we have everyone’s back. They walk the walk.”

Consider the fourth quarter on Sunday with the Cowboys up 22-10 but had seemingly given Washington a lifeline with a 3-and-out backed up near their and 22-yard shank on a punt by Bryan Anger.

Washington the ball with a 1st and 10 at the Cowboys’ 30 with 11 minutes, 21 seconds left in the game. They got two first downs and soon had a 1st down at the 11.

A 1-yard run was followed by an incomplete pass, a sack by defensive end Dante Fowler and pass deflection in the end zone by cornerback Trevon Diggs.

The defense simply suffocated offenses and kept out of the end zone all season.

The numbers are staggering.

Dallas has yet to allow 20 points in a game this season, marking the first time since 1973 — sixth time in team history — that the Cowboys held their first four opponents to 19 points-or-less..

Dallas has only given up four touchdowns in its first four games of 2022, joining the 1970 and 1972 Cowboys teams as the only three squads in franchise history to give up four touchdowns in the first four games of the season.

After allowing 155 net passing yards to Washington, the Cowboys have now held each of their four opponents in 2022 under 200 net passing yards. The last time Dallas held its first four opponents under 200 net passing yards was in 1977.

With two sacks against Washington, the Cowboys now 15.0 for the season. It’s the eight time in franchise history that Cowboys defense has tallied 15 or more sacks through the first four games. The last time was 1994.

The play of the Cowboys defense is all about Quinn.

All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons is the brightest star with a team-leading 4 sacks but this truly attacking unit that thirsting on quarterbacks and opposing offenses at the behest of Quinn.

Now this is what Jones’ expected.

It’s the reason he nearly caused a rift in the organization, while fanning the flames of the McCarthy rumors last spring by floating the idea of Quinn becoming the next Cowboys coach.

He didn’t want to lose him to another team.

“I did something about that,” Jones said. “I did something about Dan in the off season. That is why we got him today. I did something about that. I recognized he was important in the off season. He is here. He didn’t have to stay here. We are glad to have him here. We have done as good a job to have him here as you can do it.”

Is Quinn now the highest paid defense coordinator in the NFL?

“I don’t know but he got a raise,” Jones said with a chuckle.

Jones is not only laughing but he is down right giddy about where the Cowboys are now compared to how he felt after the season opener.

He says what Rush has done is beyond his wildest dreams.

Give McCarthy major credit for that.

And a highly-paid Quinn, too.