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Dak Prescott will face as good a pass defense as he has seen all year when the rookie quarterback tries to run the Dallas Cowboys’ winning streak to 11 in-a-row on Thursday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings.

The teams face off on NBC at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Minnesota is coming off a loss to Detroit in the last seconds that was their fifth in six games following a 5-0 start. Prescott, stuff a fourth-round draft pick who has supplanted Tony Romo, health threw for a TD and ran for another on Thanksgiving Day.

The Vikings’ defense has allowed 13 TDs through the air and picked off passes 12 times. Against the comparably dangerous Philadelphia defense, no rx Prescott made a couple of shaky throws, including an interception in the end zone. But he also led Dallas back from a late 10-point hole and threw a winning TD pass in overtime.

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NEW YORK (AP) — With the best record in the NFL at 10-1, the Dallas Cowboys are closing in on a playoff berth.

The Cowboys have won a franchise regular-season record 10 games in a row and play for the second consecutive Thursday when they travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings.

The Cowboys can clinch a playoff spot in Week 13 with a win of their own and a loss by Washington or with a win of their own and a loss or tie by Tampa Bay.

The Cowboys also remained in the No. 1 spot in the latest AP Pro32 poll , which was released Tuesday.

Dallas received 11 first-place votes for 383 points from balloting by media members who regularly cover the NFL.

“Dak Prescott did his part in an important Thanksgiving Day win over Washington, but the rookie quarterback masked what could be the team’s only problems: a leaky defense that can’t rush the quarterback. That could be an important factor down the stretch,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.

The Patriots received the other first-place vote and moved up a spot to No. 2 with 369 points.

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Here’s a measure of just how good things are going in Big D. One team can clinch a playoff berth this weekend: the Cowboys.

Dallas visits Minnesota on Thursday night. With a victory and either a loss by Washington or a loss/tie by Tampa Bay gets the Cowboys into the postseason parade.

Minnesota’s defense should provide a decent challenge for rookie sensations Ezekiel Elliott, the league’s leading rusher, and quarterback Dak Prescott. If the Vikings can get some sort of penetration through the best offensive line in football, they could have a chance.

But they must steer clear of falling behind against Dallas, something most Cowboys opponents haven’t avoided.

The Cowboys are ranked atop the AP Pro32 as they go for an 11th straight win since their opening loss to the Giants, who they take on next week.

Minnesota (No. 14 (tie), AP Pro32) has fallen on hard times since being the league’s last unbeaten team at 5-0 and now is 6-5 — and a 3-point underdog at home.

Dallas takes the first step toward that playoff clinching.

COWBOYS, 24-16

KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP: Haven’t liked anything we’ve seen lately from Houston, so put on those Cheeseheads and take GREEN BAY.

No. 9 (tie) Detroit (plus 4 1-2) at No. 22 New Orleans

A somewhat unusual selection for Pro Picks’ Best Bet, but Lions should cover, Saints should win. So …


No. 9 (tie) Washington (plus 3) at No. 25 Arizona

Redskins get the proper amount of rest — and then some — this time.


No. 14 (tie) Tampa Bay (plus 3 1-2) at No. 21 San Diego

Far more interesting matchup than it appeared three weeks ago.


No. 23 Indianapolis (minus-1) at No. 28 New York Jets

Far less interesting matchup than ESPN hoped.

JETS, 24-22

No. 24 Carolina (plus 6 1-2) at No. 5 Seattle

A bit less interesting matchup than NBC hoped when schedule came out.


No. 16 Buffalo (plus 3) at No. 3 Oakland

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FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant told reporters Tuesday he planned to practice this week after missing the last two games because of a tibial plateau fracture in his right leg.

He will start out in a limited portion of practice Wednesday, likely only doing individual drills, according to a source.

Bryant has not practiced since suffering the injury Sept. 25 against the Chicago Bears. At the time of the diagnosis, coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys have had players who did not miss any time or needed three weeks with a similar injury to Bryant’s.

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STILLWATER — Good. Bad. Thrilling. Disappointing.



All of it applies to Oklahoma State’s season at this midway point, suggesting an adventurous ride to the end.

So, with the off week offering opportunity for pause and reflection, how have the first six games influenced the pulse of the program moving forward, beginning with Saturday’s game at Kansas?

“I’m comfortable with where we are,” said Cowboys coach Mike Gundy. “We’ve played pretty well at times, and if we didn’t, we were able to identify why we didn’t play well and find a solution.”

Comfortable doesn’t mean satisfied. OSU is 4-2 and should be 5-1 and could be 6-0. And yet, 4-2 seems fitting, with the Cowboys involved in four fourth-quarter verdicts that hung on a play or two.

And there are solutions still being sought, with this squad far from a finished product. Fixes are possible, too, giving this team a different feel from some recent squads that lugged permanent flaws into every Saturday.

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If you would hit the mark, <a href=

ask you must aim a little above it; every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow” width=”300″ height=”188″ /> If you would hit the mark, help you must aim a little above it; every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Oklahoma State Cowboys Fan Prep for SE LouisianaOklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph (2) looks to throw a pass during a college football game between the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners (UTSA) and the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

We are finally back at it.

It’s been 246 days since the Cowboys were crushed by the Ole Miss Rebels on New Years Day in the Sugar Bowl to end the season 10-3. It probably feels longer for Cowboys fans who watched as Oklahoma State fell apart after a brilliant 10-0 start to the regular season with three straight blowout loses.

But now the season is fresh and new, hopes have been rekindled. Mason Rudolph is another year older and is projected to be one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, there’s renewed promise in a stifled 2015 running game now that the son of Oklahoma State’s greatest player has “come home.”

There are question marks, who will replace Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean on the defensive line as well as Kevin Peterson in the secondary and Ryan Simmons in the middle?

But OSU writers Kyle Fredrickson and John Helsley have been asking those questions all summer and fall to find all the information you’ll need for the Cowboys’ opener against SE Louisiana.

So without further ado…

It’s Gameday, let’s go!


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Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Central Michigan Chippewas Football Preview


 Oklahoma State football: Cowboys’ pushed for depth development in season opener

Oklahoma State’s John Kolar, left, throws a pass during the second half of a college football game between the Cowboys and Southeastern Louisiana at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater on Saturday. (Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman)

STILLWATER — Ramon Richards got the call when he least expected it about two years back on the sideline of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Oklahoma State opened with the defending national champion Florida State. Richards was a high school quarterback turned college defensive back when OSU assistant coach Van Malone called his name.

“Go get Kevin Peterson.”

“In my head, I’m just like, ‘Whoa,’” Richards said.

It was offensive tackle Zach Crabtree’s Cowboy debut, too.

“It’s a little freaky at first. Bullets are flying. Game speed is a little bit faster,” Crabtree said. “But everyone’s like that. You get some butterflies in there. … I remember that first series like it was yesterday. The first play was inside zone. I still remember it.”

A new crop of OSU freshmen made their own memories on Saturday. A combined 20 made their first appearance at Boone Pickens Stadium. Five more — defensive ends Jarrell Owens and Cole Walterscheid, offensive linemen Marcus Keyes and Larry Williams, and linebacker Devante Averette — made their first career starts.

As Richards and Crabtree looked on from the sideline, it was obvious their first-game stories were for much higher stakes as compared to Southeastern Louisiana. Though just as important.


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