What are the Dallas Cowboys' players and coaches talking about ahead of Sunday's Week 7 matchup against the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium in Dallas? Let's find out:
1. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Monday he anticipates Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott being medically cleared early this week, which would put him on a path for a full throwing load in Wednesday's practice. Prescott has yet to participate in a full practice since undergoing surgery Sept. 12 to repair a fracture in his right thumb. The expectation is that if practice goes well this week Prescott will start Sunday vs. Detroit.
View photos of the starters for the Dallas Cowboys.
2. Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said he'll focus on tackling in practice as they get ready to face the Lions. He said the defense had 10 missed tackles in the loss last week vs. Philadelphia and he wants to strengthen those tackling fundamentals before they face a Lions' offense with a good run game and some dangerous run-after-catch weapons in the pass game. Through the first five games of the season, Detroit has 139 rushes for 757 yards (5.4 average) and seven touchdowns.
3. Dallas special teams coordinator John Fassel said they've taken a long look at the Lions' special teams and Detroit's potential fakes in the punt game and on field goals. It's something Fassel and the Cowboys will be extra conscious of this week.
"Coach (Dave) Fipp does a really good job out there," Fassel said. "They've got some really nice linebackers. A really nice punt returner. They've thrown quite a few fakes over the last years."
4. Cowboys talented tight end Dalton Schultz was inactive against the Eagles after being a full participant in Friday's practice, which was a little curious. Schultz has been dealing with a sprained knee, and owner/GM Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan this week: "We'll have to see as this week goes," on whether Schultz will be able to play against the Lions Sunday. If not, look for rookies Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot to fill the role.
5. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore said Monday he likes the production he's getting from the running back tandem of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. Elliott and Pollard have combined for 678 yards and four touchdowns and will face a Lions' run defense that ranks last in the NFL stopping the run at 167.8 rushing yards allowed per game on average. Expect Dallas to continue running the ball by tandem on Sunday.