Dak Prescott is up for the challenge, apparently. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had a simple message for the New York Giants’ secondary ahead of Sunday night’s NFC East showdown: “Challenge accepted.”

Giants safety Landon Collins told reporters this week that the team’s plan is to focus on shutting down Dallas tailback Ezekiel Elliot, who rushed 24 times for 104 yards last season in a 19-3 Cowboys win to open the season.

“We’re making sure we close the air out of their offensive running game,” Collins said, according to ESPN. “If we do that, put the ball in Dak’s hands, I think we’ll have a better shot at winning.”

Told of Collins’s statement Thursday, Prescott responded, “Challenge accepted.”

Prescott opened the season with a subpar outing in a 16-8 loss at Carolina, throwing for 170 yards on 19-of-29 passing and rushing five times for 19 yards. He hasn’t topped 200 yards in the air in seven of his past nine games dating from the 2017 season, and in that span he has thrown nine interceptions to six touchdowns.

“I didn’t play well, and the only way I know how to play better is to go to work and put in the time, put in the time the right way with the right focus, and that has been my plan,” Prescott said.

The last time Dallas faced the Giants, Prescott torched New York for 332 yards passing and three scores in a 30-10 win in December.

Sunday’s game is surprisingly critical for this early in the season. The loser will fall to 0-2 and drops a significant tiebreaker in a division race that experts believe is wide open.

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