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QB Dak Prescott’s ‘100%’ Cowboys Day: ‘We’re a Contender’

Dak Prescott does the NFL Week 8 talking as he is working through a calf strain.

FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys‘ Thursday practice inside Ford Center here at The Star once again featured quarterback Dak Prescott, working through a calf strain, participating on what will likely again be called a “limited” basis.

And following the workout? A visit with the upbeat Prescott, suggesting the phrase “100 percent.”

No, not “100-percent” guaranteeing he’ll play this week. But “100-percent” in terms of how hard he worked himself in the Thursday session.

“Today, I pushed it. I didn’t go half- or 75-percent … all-in … I needed to feel the full-go and I did that,” he said, adding that if this was an NFL playoff week, he’d play “without question … 100-percent, without question.”

The Cowboys are attempting a balancing act here, as Prescott alluded to when he said, “It’s not fully my decision because there is a bigger picture. It’s more than just one game. …I don’t want this to linger past this week.”

That leaves a week off as a possibility, with a decision not really necessary until Saturday’s “launch practice,” when Dallas would like to practice with all of its pieces in place.

We’re trying to push it as far as we can right now,” coach Mike McCarthy said before the Thursday workout, part of 5-1 Dallas’ preparation for Sunday’s visit to Minnesota.

The NFC East-leading Cowboys, coming off their bye last weekend, also got work from other notables, including:

*The benched” (trade-worthy?) offensive lineman La’el Collins, who lined up in the oddest of spots during part of the session: With Terence Steele lining up at right tackle, Collins (coming off his five-game NFL suspension), Collins was to his right …

Kind of playing “right-right tackle.”

*Safety Damontae Kazee, recently arrested for a DWI, was at practice.

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*Cornerback Trevon Diggs and tackle Tyron Smith, limited on Wednesday, spent the early portion of the day with trainers, joining Prescott.

All involved continue to have faith in the availability of Prescott. (See “Perfectly Fine.”) McCarthy has made it clear that the MVP candidate QB experienced a “good response” with his calf. And along with “trying to push it,” the team has certain medical “thresholds” that Prescott must clear so, as McCarthy put it, the injury doesn’t linger and become a “week-to-week” thing.

Prescott did seem to add something from Wednesday, as on Thursday he sprinted and cut as a ball-carrier. But again, the decision to play Sunday - maybe an easy one for him - is a bit more complex. Yes, that “big-picture” thing.

Cooper Rush again got work with the first team in what seems like the unlikely event Prescott - off to a great start as he is completing over 73 percent of his passes for 1,813 yards, 16 touchdowns, and four interceptions through six games - is unable to go.

Right now, the line for Sunday’s 7:20 p.m. game, per SI Sportsbook, has Dallas as a 1.5-point road favorite against the Vikings. Assuming Dak is up? The Cowboys’ chance of winning goes up, too.

And yes, winning the whole thing, and being healthy enough to do so, is part of this equation.

Prescott said without hesitation that his Cowboys are a Super Bowl contender.

“I feel that way,” he said. “I felt that way coming into camp. I feel that way after six games. I feel that way today. ...I think everybody on this team and in this building would be pissed off if anybody thought any differently."

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