Vikings host Cowboys on Sunday Night Football without Dak Prescott

Patrick Peterson #7 of the Minnesota Vikings stands on the sideline in the fourth quarter of the game against the Cleveland Browns at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 3, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  ((Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images))

The Minnesota Vikings are hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Halloween night for Sunday Night Football, and they’ll be facing one of the top offenses in the NFL without their starting quarterback.

Dak Prescott, who injured his calf two weeks ago, was declared inactive by the Cowboys less than two hours before kickoff. It means Cooper Rush will get his first NFL start. Rush took three snaps in Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles, but has not thrown an NFL pass since 2017. He played in two games that season and went 1-for-3 for two yards.

Prescott had the team’s bye week to rest, and went through a rigorous pregame warm-up at U.S. Bank Stadium, but it wasn’t enough to convince team officials and medical staff that he could play. It’s a significant break for the Vikings’ defense, which is without Michael Pierce and Patrick Peterson for Sunday night’s game.

In six games, Prescott has thrown for more than 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns, with just four interceptions. He’s also completing 73.5 percent of his passes as the Cowboys are off to a 5-1 start.

The Vikings are back from their bye week, looking to win for the fourth time in their past five games after an 0-2 start. Pierce is still dealing with an elbow issue, while Peterson injured his hamstring against the Carolina Panthers.