DALLAS — Dak Prescott is excellent at stacking commands.
The first duty was to prepare for the Minnesota Vikings as the Dallas Cowboys' starting quarterback. After all, Prescott had led Dallas to the 5-1 start and the expectations were that a little calf strain sustained in Week 6 wasn't going to hold him out of a key Sunday Night Football tilt at U.S. Bank Stadium, not against a 3-3 Vikings squad with a stout defense against whom Dallas needed a tiebreaker for NFC playoff purposes.
"For me, it was just about focusing on being the starter, doing what I normally do, going through that same routine all week long," Prescott said.
After allowing Prescott to go through pregame warmups, Dallas decided to go with their 27-year-old backup Cooper Rush to make his first career start.
"If I didn’t get that call, I was going to be able to flip it easy and give it to Coop and help him out," said Prescott.
The two-time Pro Bowler wore a headset on the sideline, but Prescott wasn't using his experience or guidance to help the Cowboys from afar. Prescott was using his energy and positivity to keep his teammates, especially Rush, upbeat on the sidelines.
"That’s what this team is about: trying to support everybody and every part of this team, from whatever avenue that is."
Cooper went 24-of-40 for 325 yards, two touchdowns, an interception, and a 92.2 passer rating. Throughout the game, even though the Vikings pass rush dropped him for three sacks, even though he had a lost fumble, the moment was never too large for the undrafted free agent from Central Michigan.
Said Prescott: "There wasn’t a moment I thought he was too high or nervous or rattled. That’s Coop. He’s very mild tempered and always that way — never too high or too low. It showed tonight. It allowed him to stay in there, stick to it, stick through some bad plays and come out and make some great plays to win the game that we needed in the fourth quarter."
Down 16-13 with 2:51 to go, Rush led the Cowboys on a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped off with a 5-yard scoring throw to receiver Amari Cooper, who was battling a hamstring issue on the final drive.
Dallas plays the Denver Broncos next Sunday at AT&T Stadium. Prescott won't commit to playing against Denver, but will let the weekly process play itself out.
"I’m a guy that takes it day-by-day, moment-at-moment, and right now, I’m going to celebrate this win with the guys and worry about rehabbing and getting everything back in order [Monday]," said Prescott after the Cowboys’ six consecutive victory.
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