DALLAS (AP) – Dak Prescott gave himself an “A” but said he’s looking for an “A-plus” after a throwing session prior to being inactive a fifth consecutive week in Dallas’ NFC East showdown with Philadelphia.
The star Cowboys quarterback said after a 26-17 loss to the Eagles he planned to return Sunday at home against Detroit.
“Dak is going to be cleared here officially,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Monday, via video from the team. “The expectation is for Dak to be cleared today or tomorrow. Then, he’ll be returning to practice on Wednesday.”
Whether Cooper Rush’s first failing grade as Prescott’s fill-in changes the urgency is difficult to say, just as it’s hard to know if Prescott would have returned from the fractured right thumb earlier if Rush hadn’t won his first four starts.
Regardless, the Cowboys (4-2) are now in third place in the division, trailing the undefeated Eagles and one-loss New York Giants.
If Dallas is going to defend its NFC East title, or reach the playoffs again, victories over two struggling teams in the Lions (1-4) and Chicago Bears in consecutive home games might be required.
“I thought Dak took the next step,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “He had a good day … in the Saturday practice. We wanted to push it to 50 throws today. We’ll get him in there (Monday), see where we are.”
Rush threw his first three interceptions of the season, with the first two playing a big part in the Eagles leading 20-0 in the first half. Rush lost for the first time in six career starts, including five this season.
A team that has leaned on complementary football without Prescott failed in the biggest moment. After the Cowboys pulled within 20-17, a defense that has carried Dallas gave up a 75-yard touchdown drive.
“I think there is always value when someone cracks you in the jaw and you fight back and have a chance to win the game,” McCarthy said. “You can’t get to where we want to go without going through it.”
If the Cowboys can get within a game of the Eagles and stay there over the next two months, the stakes will be high in the rematch on Christmas Eve in Texas.
“What I saw today was us beating ourselves,” defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence said. “I don’t feel like we should hang our hats on a game like this. We know we played tough and learned from our mistakes.”