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Jim O'Neil Offers High Praise for Cowboys Rookie QB Dak Prescott

There's no time for the San Francisco 49ers defense to dwell on a Week 3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Dallas Cowboys are up next on the schedule with a potent offensive attack of their own. Jim O'Neil explained what makes the Cowboys so dangerous, starting with the strong play of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.

"I think he's playing really well right now," San Francisco's defensive coordinator said on Tuesday. "They're an explosive offense. They've very deep and talented on the offensive line. They've got a great group of receivers. They've got some great, young backs. They've got Jason Witten at tight end. You could go on and on. It's a very good offense and the quarterback is playing really well."

Through three games, Prescott has thrown for 767 yards and one touchdown. As a runner, the rookie has added 54 yards and two touchdowns. The Mississippi State product has yet to turn the ball over and has led the Cowboys to a 2-1 record.

"He's not playing like a rookie quarterback right now," O'Neil said. "He's playing like a quarterback that's been in the league for four or five years."

But that doesn't mean the 49ers will shy away from pressuring Prescott. San Francisco has allowed at least 37 points in each of its last two games, a stark contrast from the shutout the team pitched at home in Week 1.

A consistent pass rush will be crucial for the 49ers in Sunday's rivalry game.

"Anybody that's new in this league, whether it's on the offensive side of the ball or defensive side of the ball, you're always going to test them to see where they're at," O'Neil said.

On the outside, San Francisco's cornerbacks will have their hands full with one of the NFL's elite receivers, Dez Bryant. Jimmie Ward's status is up in the air with a quad strain which could open up a spot in the startling lineup for Keith Reaser or Rashard Robinson.

The two defensive backs are battling for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart at corner. O'Neil called it a week-to-week competition, with performance in practice determining who gets the reps on gameday.

"It's based on who practices the best," the coach said. "Last week it was Reaser. Two weeks ago it was Rashard. It will be up to them to see who it is this week."

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