It was a welcome sign on Tuesday when Dak Prescott took the practice field to throw some passes in a workout with wide receiver Amari Cooper. Prescott didn't travel to Canton for the Hall of Fame Game and went a number of practices without throwing passes due to suffering a shoulder strain. Cooper had just been taken off the Active/Physically Unable to Play list Tuesday morning.
It wasn't the most intensive workout---less than game-speed throws under 20 yards---but combine that with Prescott throwing passes in Tuesday's half-speed walk-through and it certainly counts as progress.
McCarthy confirmed on Wednesday that Prescott is "feeling good" after getting to go out there and throw some more passes. He also stated that more progress is expected today.
"He'll do a little more throwing today than he did yesterday," McCarthy said of the starting quarterback.
It's unclear what that increased workload will include, but according to the head coach, it all still fits into the same plan of Prescott playing a preseason game, not this Friday in Arizona, but possibly the following week against the Texans.
"I hope so," McCarthy said, with what sounded like cautious optimism. "It would be great."
In the meantime, there is a focus on the development of backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert. If Prescott's healthy return is imminent, then Gilbert will need to continue to use his increased snaps to prove that he can be counted upon if needed during the regular season.
"The biggest thing for the next step [for Gilbert] is getting the efficiency where it needs to be," McCarthy said on Wednesday. "One thing you're looking for with quarterbacks is are they responding to the opportunities they're given? And Garrett has done that."