- Covered NFL since 1997, Cowboys since 2003
- Previously covered Bengals and Dolphins
- Lives in Dallas area with his wife and two children
FRISCO, Texas — If it were solely up to Dak Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback would play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings despite a calf strain that has kept him limited the last two days of practice.
“Knowing this is a long journey and a long season, I don’t necessarily know if this is fully my decision, but I’m just going to keep controlling the things I can to get better,” Prescott said Thursday. “I’ve gotten better each and every day, and that’s what is most important. I’m just focused on doing that again tomorrow.”
Prescott said the coaches and director of rehabilitation Britt Brown will be part of the decision-making process as well. Prescott has worked closely with Brown, who oversaw his rehab from the compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle and the return from a latissimus strain in his right shoulder in training camp.
While coach Mike McCarthy said Prescott would have to clear certain “thresholds” in practice to play, Prescott said he is not sure what those are.
“They didn’t tell me which ones I’ve got to pass,” Prescott said. “Obviously I trust myself, trust my body, trust what I’m thinking, but also I trust the coaches and Britt, Jim (Maurer) and the whole training staff. We’ve put a lot into this. I’ve put a lot into my body and taking care of myself.
“But they know. They know how these things work. First time dealing with something like this, obviously on the same leg as my ankle, I want to be smart about it and cautious. But as I’ve said, I’ve gotten better each and every day. I’m doing things today I didn’t do as well the day before. I think that’s huge.”
Prescott went through an extended rehab period before practice, simulating quarterbacks drops, rollouts and changing of direction.
“Today I pushed it. Today, yeah, I didn’t go half or 75 percent — I went all and I just told myself that if something was going to happen, I’m going to do it today,” he said. “But I needed to feel the full go and I did that.
Prescott has taken team snaps only in the walkthroughs, with Cooper Rush taking the first-team action in practice the last few days. McCarthy said the team would consider dressing three quarterbacks for the first time this season if Prescott does play.
Prescott said he was not sure he could have played last week after suffering the injury in the Oct. 17 win against the New England Patriots. He spent the bye week getting treatment daily and said he felt playing this week was a possibility on Monday. Prescott also noted there is not a particular movement that gives him trouble and that he would be comfortable playing even with limited practice time.
“Obviously I’ve been in this offense for a while. I sat out all of camp and came out the way that I did,” Prescott said, referring to his 403-yard passing effort vs. Tampa Bay in Week 1. “I said it today, just watching practice going through my reads, it’s like sometimes you see things better from back there from watching the game. I know all my reads, I know all the checks and I know what we’re trying to do in this game plan. That will never change whether I’m limited or not.”
The timing of the season may play a part in the decision for the Cowboys, who are playing their seventh of 17 games Sunday. If this was later in the season or a playoff contest, Prescott would play.
“It’d be no question, 100 percent no question,” he said.
The Cowboys do not hold a normal practice Friday, going through a regeneration day, but Prescott would like to take part in the extended walkthrough the team goes through on Saturday before flying to Minnesota.
“There is a bigger picture. It is more than just this one game,” he said. “The fact is I don’t want this to linger past this week. Same as I told y’all in training camp about my shoulder: something I want to nip in the bud and make sure I’m healthy and ready to go, so I don’t think about it playing and we’re not having these conversation past today.”
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