Xavier Woods says Minnesota Vikings were preparing for Dak Prescott to start at QB for Dallas Cowboys, not Cooper Rush

MINNEAPOLIS -- Despite the uncertainty surrounding Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott's availability leading into Sunday night's Week 8 matchup at Minnesota, Vikings safety Xavier Woods said his team did not prepare for Prescott's backup, Cooper Rush.

Prescott, who is dealing with a calf injury, was limited in practice Wednesday through Friday and was listed as questionable on the final injury report. He went through a pregame warmup before being ruled inactive Sunday night, leaving fifth-year QB Rush to make his first career start in place of Prescott.

Rush would end up throwing for 325 yards and two touchdowns -- including the go-ahead score with less than a minute to play in regulation -- in a 20-16 Dallas victory, becoming the second quarterback in Cowboys history to throw for 300 yards in his first career start.

Asked about the Minnesota defense preparing for Rush vs. Prescott, Woods said: "We weren't."

"We were just preparing for 4 [Prescott]," Woods continued. "We kind of thought they were going to still run the same offense. So, we just prepared for 4 all week. We didn't get the word [that Rush was going to start] until pregame, so we just prepared for 4 but we watched a couple clips of Coop. But during the week, we just prepared for 4."

Coach Mike Zimmer said Minnesota had "a lot of film" on Rush and told ESPN's Ed Werder that the Vikings would change their defensive strategy in the event Dallas started its No. 2 quarterback. In that scenario, Zimmer said his team would force Rush to beat them by taking away the run game by loading the box.

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Minnesota only loaded the box on 17% of Dallas' rushing attempts. The Cowboys totaled 78 rushing yards Sunday.

Minnesota leads the NFL in games (6) and losses (4) decided by one possession this season. Dallas took its only lead of the game with 55 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, when Rush found Amari Cooper in the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown.