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Dak (shoulder) limited in practice ahead of Week 16

A Dak Prescott-led push to the playoffs is still very much on the table for the Cowboys, but it might come with a less-than-100-percent Prescott.

Prescott is dealing with a right shoulder injury (his throwing arm) suffered in the first half of Sunday's domination of the Los Angeles Rams, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday. Prescott likely won't throw much in practice, Garrett added, and it's reasonable to expect he doesn't throw much at all this week.

He's not missing Sunday's pivotal game against the Philadelphia Eagles, though.

"He's as tough as they come," Garrett said of Prescott, per the Dallas Morning News' Michael Gehlken.

Teammates Ezekiel Elliott and Zack Martin also believe wholeheartedly in Prescott's resiliency.

"I know Dak. I know his toughness. I know he'll play," Elliot said, per The Athletic's Jon Machota.

"Knowing Dak, you'd have to kill him to keep him off the field," Martin added, via Machota.

Prescott underwent an MRI on the injured shoulder, which came back negative, according to Garrett. Sunday's game didn't provide much evidence on the severity of the injury, as the Cowboys had already built a 28-7 lead by halftime. Prescott attempted just seven passes in the second half, completing six of them for 52 yards. Both of his touchdowns came before halftime.

A hampered shoulder can cause a variety of issues for a quarterback, whose job it is to throw the ball accurately, of course. Just last year, Cam Newton's shoulder ailment tore him down from near-elite status to passable at best.

It doesn't sound as if Prescott's issue is nearly as serious, though, and frankly it likely won't matter to a player in a contract year with the playoffs on the line. He's going to play in one of the most important stretches of his career as long as it's physically possible.

He might be without a key protector this week. Garrett said left tackle Tyron Smith's eye is closed and he "may or may not" practice Wednesday.

While we're sure to get more details later (or maybe not, depending on competitive advantage desires), vision is obviously important to any player's success. It's especially important to the Cowboys to have each of their four 2020 Pro Bowlers, of which Smith is a part, available as they try to secure the NFC East title.

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