Cowboys' Dak Prescott throws, tests thumb; Cooper Rush likely to start

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was throwing passes Wednesday for the first time since undergoing surgery on his right thumb, but he is expected to miss his fifth straight game Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"We are preparing for Cooper [Rush] to start against the Eagles," coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday.

Prescott said he felt "great" after the light throwing session -- his first since undergoing right thumb surgery on Sept. 12. He said he plans to throw more on Thursday.

"Solid. Ask the receivers," a smiling Prescott said when asked how it went. "I always got some pop on my [passes]."

Before practice, McCarthy said he didn't anticipate Prescott wearing a splint for added protection.

During the portion of practice open to the media, Prescott did not take many snaps from center and did not throw any passes with his right hand. He made sure to pick up his helmet with his right hand, and his passes at that time were left-handed. Prescott officially did not practice with the team prior to his session afterward.

"I think we're still in the medical rehab phase," McCarthy said. "So once he clears this phase and he's fully activated, then I think that's when we have our conversation."

Prescott had surgery after the Cowboys' season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While owner and general manager Jerry Jones said there was hope that Prescott could return within four weeks -- and did not put the quarterback on injured reserve -- that was always the most optimistic view. The timetable for a return was between four to six weeks after he had a plate inserted to stabilize the thumb.

McCarthy repeated that he wants Prescott to get a full week of work before returning as the starter. He would not get into a potential thought of having Prescott serve as Rush's backup as he continues to mend.

The Cowboys have won four straight games with Rush, but McCarthy said he does not believe the team's path with Prescott would have been altered if the record were different.

"You've got to trust the medical process," McCarthy said. "This is a 17-game season. That was my immediate response. I know Dak didn't want to hear it, but you've got to make sure that he's right for the long haul, too.

"So I'm not saying we're being conservative because that doesn't line up with him, with the way he approaches preparing to play. But, yeah, this really is following the medical timeline. He's doing all the things you can possibly do and more to get ready. But I don't think it would've changed, from my view."