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Cowboys placing QB Andy Dalton on COVID-19 list; Cooper Rush could start vs. Steelers

Andy Dalton's season went from bad to worse without setting foot on the field this week.

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback will miss at least one more week, but not because of a concussion.

Dalton was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, officially knocking him out of Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dalton missed last week's loss to Philadelphia due to a concussion suffered in Week 7. The veteran began the week still in concussion protocol. Now he's dealing with COVID-19.

The news will not thrust seventh-round rookie Ben DiNucci back into the starting lineup as the Cowboys are expected to make another change.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Cowboys are seriously contemplating turning to Cooper Rush, who is currently on the practice squad after rejoining the club following Dalton's injury. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero later reported that the Cowboys' plan is to give Rush and Garrett Gilbert reps during practice and pick one of the two to start by the end of the week.

Undrafted in 2017, Rush spent the previous three seasons in Dallas backing up Dak Prescott. He has thrown just three passes (completing one for two yards). He spent the offseason with Jason Garrett in New York before being cut before the season.

The Cowboys would need to activate Rush from the practice squad if they decide he's the best option to start.

DiNucci struggled in his first start last week with Dalton out due to the concussion. Owner Jerry Jones was very public about the rookie not being ready.

"I think it was a lot for him," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan Tuesday. "It was, frankly, more than he could handle."

Those sorts of comments about the rookie quarterback portend a different direction for the Cowboys offense.

It's a grim prospect for any of the Cowboys' QB options against one of the best defenses in the NFL. DiNucci struggled, but Rush and Gilbert also have a combined nine NFL attempts.

Behind a shuffled Cowboys offensive line, whoever lines up under center is likely to struggle against a Steelers defense that leads the league with 30 sacks in seven games and has the highest pressure-rate in the entire NFL.

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