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© Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Cooper Rush understood the assignment last week, but Dak Prescott will take it from here. Rush's job was to take the helm for the Dallas Cowboys and play well enough to defeat the Minnesota Vikings on the road, minimizing his mistakes and making timely plays when they presented themselves, once it was determined ahead of kickoff that Prescott would rest his strained right calf. Rush's first career NFL start was a mixed bag that saw his second half of football overcome a poor first half -- aided by the steady hand of high-profile players like Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott -- en route to a 20-16 victory that puts the Cowboys at 6-1 on the season.

And with that roll of the dice having paid off for Dallas, they turn their attention back to Prescott, who was physically capable of playing against the Vikings and who wanted to, but whose vote was vetoed by head coach Mike McCarthy and the team's front office. So what's the plan this week for the two-time Pro Bowler after landing an extra week of rest following the Cowboys' bye?

It's for Prescott to get back to regularly scheduled programming. The Cowboys QB said on Thursday afternoon that he had two great practice sessions, and that it's "safe to say" he's playing on Sunday, according to Jon Machota of The Athletic. It sounds like this was always the plan. 

"We won't be in the full slate of the workload on a Wednesday practice [because we had a Sunday night game], but I look for him to participate in that, and everything goes normal and I would think he would be full go on Thursday," head coach Mike McCarthy said Monday. He added Thursday that the plan is for Prescott to be a full participant in practice and then start against the Broncos.

It's also a sentiment that was echoed Tuesday by owner Jerry Jones.

"We have every reason to think that he's on go," said the Hall of Fame owner. "And he should be ready. ... We have every reason to believe he'll be on the field this week."

It's all music to Prescott's ears, having worked the last two weeks to be ready for the Vikings -- up to and through pregame drills at U.S. Bank Stadium -- before being told he'd sit.

"I had a plan all week, trying to progress and get myself out there," Prescott told media following the win in Minnesota. "We made a call at the end of having a chance to come out with a win, without me playing, and be able to get healthy and not have something re-injure and linger past this week."

It was a massive gambit that paid off for the Cowboys, and Prescott couldn't be happier for Rush -- his longtime backup [mostly] since 2017. After the game, Prescott was seen barreling down the tunnel on his rested calf to give Rush a bear hug after an impressive first career start.

"That's what this team is about. Trying to support everybody and every part of this team, from whatever avenue that is," said Prescott. "For me, it was just about focusing on being the starter, doing what I normally do, going through that same routine all week long. If I didn't get that call, I was going to be able to flip it easy and give it to Coop and help him out."

" ... I thought he was OK during the game. There wasn't a moment I thought he was too high or nervous or rattled. That's Coop. He's very mild tempered and always that way -- never too high or too low. 

"It showed tonight. It allowed him to stay in there, stick to it, stick through some bad plays and come out and make some great plays to win the game that we needed in the fourth quarter."

With Rush having turned in his test and landed a passing grade, the Cowboys valedictorian at quarterback sounds as ready to get back onto the field as he is proud of what his understudy was able to achieve.

"For sure [returning in Week 9 is on the table]," said Prescott. "I was getting prepared to play this game. I'm a guy that takes it day-by-day, moment-at-moment, and right now, I'm going to celebrate this win with the guys and worry about rehabbing and getting everything back in order tomorrow."