Shortly after undergoing surgery to repair a Bennett fracture in the thumb of his throwing hand, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said he was optimistic he could beat the six-to-eight-week recovery timeframe given by doctors.
Team owner Jerry Jones echoed a similar sentiment, believing that it may be possible for the star QB to resume his duties as soon as last week when Dallas traveled to LA or this Sunday when the Cowboys face their third and final division rival in the Philadelphia Eagles.
Instead, it seems likely that Cooper Rush will once again be under center for the Cowboys. Head coach Mike McCarthy updated the media on Wednesday.
“I think we’re still in the medical rehab phase,” McCarthy said. “Once he (Prescott) clears this phase and he’s fully activated, I think that’s when we have our conversation.”
Though Prescott was officially listed as a non-participant in practice, he did some light throwing for the first time since suffering the injury in the fourth quarter of Week 1. According to media members in attendance, receivers said Prescott was getting a good “pop” on his throws.
“I always got some pop on my balls,” Prescott told Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News. “I’m not going to throw if I ain’t got pop on my balls.”
With Prescott expected to miss the Week 6 game, he will be out until at least Week 8 as Dallas has a bye following the Eagles match this weekend. That would put Prescott right in line with the recovery timeline issued by the medical staff. The Cowboys will face the Detroit Lions after returning from the break.
“You’ve got to trust the medical process,” McCarthy said. “This is a 17-game season. That was my immediate response. I know Dak didn’t want to hear it, but you’ve got to make sure that he’s right for the long haul, too.”
“So I’m not saying we’re being conservative because that doesn’t line up with him, with the way he approaches preparing to play. But, yeah, this really is following the medical timeline,” he continued. “He’s doing all the things you can possibly do and more to get ready. But I don’t think it would’ve changed, from my view.”
Rush has been solid if unspectacular in his role filling in for Prescott. He has piled up 839 yards on 72 completions and four touchdowns. Most important, Rush is the only quarterback in the NFL with more than 100 pass attempts and zero interceptions. The Cowboys have won four straight games since losing on opening night, defeating both Super Bowl participants and two division rivals in the process.
Sunday’s contest is likely to be one of the biggest challenges of the season for the Cowboys. The Eagles are undefeated and are finding unique ways to win games with former OU QB Jalen Hurts and a deep, skilled receiving corps. Though a lot of pressure will rest on Rush’s shoulders, it is likely to be the Cowboys’ defense that will be the difference maker in the outcome of the game.