FRISCO, Texas – No matter where they stand on the depth chart, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett asks his players to prepare as if they're starters. It's the mindset rookie quarterback Dak Prescott adopted even before injuries to Tony Romo and Kellen Moore made him the fill-in starter in late August.
With Dez Bryant's status for Sunday's game at San Francisco unclear due to a slight hairline fracture in his right knee, Prescott expects the Cowboys' offense will take that 'next man up' approach this week in case their star wideout is unable to play.
"It's kinda this motto, don't blink, just come in and keep pushing as if the 11 we initially put out there are out there," Prescott said. "It doesn't really matter who's out there, we're going to run this game plan and we're all going to prepare as we're No. 1s and we're the starters and be ready for our moments."
Bryant has been in the lineup with Prescott in every game the rookie has started, including the Aug. 13 preseason opener when several veteran starters were rested. It's no secret the offense needs their most dynamic wideout on the field whenever possible.
"He's a great receiver," Prescott said. "It'd be nice to have (him) out there, obviously, and he gets a lot of attention. But our game plan continues to work."
That's because Prescott has worked to throw the ball where his reads take him. In the first three games he completed passes to 10 different receivers. Three have double-digit catches: Cole Beasley (20), tight end Jason Witten (14) and Bryant (11).
He has faith in the entire group. After all, they've helped make his transition to the starting lineup easier these last several weeks.
"We go into this gameplan kind of with the mindset of they've got to stop us," Prescott said. "Cole's a guy that gets open a lot against any coverage, against anybody. We've got another great receiver, tight end over there in Jason Witten, Terrance Williams and Brice Butler coming in. We've got guys that can get the job done."