Cowboys’ Dak Prescott to start throwing; Cooper Rush expects to start

FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will fit on Wednesday for the first time since undergoing right thumb surgery, but he is expected to miss his fifth straight game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“We are preparing for Cooper [Rush] to start against the Eagles,” coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday.

McCarthy said Prescott will throw some light at the receivers after Wednesday’s practice. He will go through quarterback school (a prepractice walkthrough for the QBs only) and go through some individual drills, but he won’t participate in any of the drills.

McCarthy said he doesn’t expect Prescott to wear a splint for added protection.

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During the open portion of training for the media, Prescott didn’t take many shots from the center or throw passes with his right hand. He made sure to pick up his helmet with his right hand, and his steps were left-handed at the time.

“I think we’re still in the medical rehab phase,” McCarthy said. “So once he’s been through this phase and he’s fully activated, then I think we’ll have our talk.”

Prescott had surgery on September 12, a day after the Cowboys’ season opening against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While owner and CEO Jerry Jones said there was hope Prescott could return in four weeks — and not put the quarterback on injured reserve — that was always the most optimistic view. The time frame for a return was between four to six weeks after he put in a plate to stabilize the thumb.

McCarthy reiterated that he wants Prescott to get a full week of work before returning as starter. He wouldn’t think of letting Prescott serve as Rush’s backup while he continues to recover.

The Cowboys have won four games in a row with Rush, but McCarthy said he doesn’t believe the team’s path with Prescott would have changed if the record had been different.

“You have to trust the medical process,” McCarthy said. “This is a 17-game season. That was my immediate reaction. I know Dak didn’t want to hear it, but you have to make sure he’s right for the long term too.

“So I’m not saying we’re conservative because that doesn’t suit him, with the way he’s approaching preparing to play. But hey, this is really following the medical timeline. He’s doing all the things you can possibly do and more much more to prepare for. But I don’t think it would have changed, in my opinion.”

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