Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (calf strain) must ‘cross the threshold’ to play Sunday

October 27, 2021

FRISCO, Texas – During the media portion of Wednesday’s practice, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott showed no ill effects from a right calf strain suffered Oct.17 that has questioned his availability for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. .

Prescott went through an extended warm-up before practice and did not participate in individual footwork drills with the rest of the quarterbacks, but went through simulated falls to the side as coach Mike McCarthy watched. Subsequently, he threw smooth passes to his running backs, receivers and tight ends.

Prescott’s official practice designation will be established later Wednesday.

Prescott suffered the injury on the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime to CeeDee Lamb against the New England Patriots, and the Cowboys benefited from having their farewell with Executive Vice President Stephen Jones saying it “would have been difficult” for Prescott to have played. In the past week.

Speaking at 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said he was more optimistic about Prescott’s chances of playing the Vikings, but with the week of practice starting Wednesday, the Cowboys will take a conservative approach. before making your final decision.

“He’s going to practice and he’s going through the individual part and it’s in the game plans. He’s getting ready to play,” McCarthy said. “You have to cross the threshold to make sure it’s full.”

McCarthy did not define the threshold, but said part of the determination will be made by Prescott and associate athletic trainer and director of rehabilitation Britt Brown, who oversaw the quarterback’s recovery from ankle and shoulder injuries over the past year.

“Britt and Dak have a tremendous history and relationship, so I feel like we’ll be on the same page as he progresses on this,” McCarthy said. “He is going to do everything possible to play on Sunday. That is a fact.”

McCarthy acknowledged that quarterbacks can “probably play with a calf strain earlier in the rehab process than other positions.” As the head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 2014, McCarthy saw Aaron Rodgers deal with a calf injury late in the regular season and in the playoffs, leading up to the NFC Championship Game.

“It was tough. The weather was different, then two outdoor games were played in Seattle in the NFC Championship Game, so yeah, it was a challenge,” McCarthy said. “But it was January. It was a different time of year and it had some different circumstances.”

Considering the Cowboys are playing their seventh game of the year on Sunday and have a 3.5 game lead in the NFC East, does that impact the club’s decision with Prescott?

“I think it’s a clear decision, we don’t want this to be an overnight situation, so until he clears that threshold to try to minimize risk, the decision will really come down,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy said Cooper Rush will work with the number one offense regardless of Prescott’s health. Rush hasn’t played in a game since 2019 and hasn’t thrown a pass since 2017, completing 1 of 2 cleanup pitches for Prescott.

“It’s a matter of trying to make sure Cooper is ready and making sure Dak gets what he needs,” McCarthy said. “We have to make sure we prepare Cooper as well.”