TAMPA — The perception might be that Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has struggled over the past three games, spawning speculation that veteran Tony Romo is warming up.
That's not reality, according to Bucs DT Gerald McCoy, who says Prescott and Dallas are as dominant as ever.
"He's having a great rookie year, man," McCoy said. "One of the top quarterbacks in the league this year and is very patient. Doesn't let the rush affect him and he's not really flustered that much. People are making such a big deal over two games or one game, whatever.
"They said, 'Oh, the past (three) games the Cowboys are struggling.' I think people just need something to write about. They lost one game in that span. One. What are they, 11-2? Golly, man.
"You lose one game and now you're not the same team anymore? So what? I hope people are not basing predictions on what's going to happen off them having struggles. They're still the same team, they're still the dominant team they've been."
INJURY UPDATE: Bucs starting RT Demar Dotson will miss a second straight game, still in the league's concussion protocol. Gosder Cherilus, who struggled at times last week against the Saints, will make his second straight start when the Bucs play at Dallas on Sunday night.
LB Lavonte David, who strained his hamstring in practice this week, returned to practice Friday but is listed as questionable. "Lavonte knows his body well," coach Dirk Koetter said. "The most important thing always is player health. These guys, especially veteran players, they know if they can go or not. But it doesn't do us too good to push these guys hard on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday."
KEY MATCHUP: Dez Bryant might get most of the recognition, but slot WR Cole Beasley is the Cowboys' leading receiver. He will be covered Sunday primarily by rookie nickel CB Javien Elliott, who will have an increased role. "Beasley is one of the top slot receivers in the league, he's got great quickness," defensive coordinator Mike Smith said. "It's going to be a challenge, but we're very proud of the way that Javien has come in and played."