After jogging off the practice field under his own power at Wednesday's practice, Cowboys QB Dak Prescott received an MRI that revealed a right shoulder strain. Initial reports were that the injury is not serious, and Prescott removed himself from practice out of caution. However, the expectation is now that Prescott could miss multiple weeks of practice.
Cowboys not concerned about QB Dak Prescott long term, but they also aren't going to be reckless. He could miss a couple weeks of camp, per @DavidMooreDMN. https://t.co/hb7w7kXkhN
The Cowboys are practicing with the full fan experience available in Oxnard, after being unable to hold camp in California last season. For a franchise QB coming off an ankle injury that cost him his season after week five, running on the field and performing well through the first week of practice will have to hold these fans over. Prescott won't be the only star the Cowboys see sidelined currently, as he's joined by WR Amari Cooper and DE DeMarcus Lawrence. Neither starter may see any practice time in Oxnard, according to Jerry Jones.
The injury update on Prescott came from Cowboys public relations before the conclusion of practice, in an effort to calm a fanbase on edge trying to avoid flashbacks of 2020. For those in attendance, the remainder of practice made it hard to do so, as the defense made plays against Garrett Gilbert, Ben DiNucci, and Cooper Rush at QB.
Gilbert has been the Cowboys preferred backup QB at practice so far, a topic we covered here:
Dallas' confidence in Gilbert was enough that they didn't sign any more-experienced quarterback during the offseason. Even though free agents like Jeff Driskel and Brett Hundley (a former McCarthy player, no less) came in for visits, the Cowboys have ultimately trusted that someone from their current group would be a sufficient backup for 2021.
Given the treatment he's received so far in camp, that trust seems to have a lot to do with Garrett Gilbert.
With the upcoming season being just Prescott's first as the Cowboys new $160 million arm, a cautious approach is the right one here. The Cowboys have been criticized in the past for “running it back” with rosters in need of an upgrade, but this year's team has a legitimate case to improve on offense simply with their returners.
While Prescott is out, the team continues to work LT Tyron Smith and RT La'el Collins back into the lineup. They've seen Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb make incredible catches without Cooper on the field with them, and TE Dalton Schultz pick up where he left off as a threat in the passing game ahead of Blake Jarwin.
All of this will mean nothing if the offense the Cowboys take into their primetime opener at the Buccaneers doesn't feature all of these starters and Prescott under center. The expectation of course is that it will, but with Dallas opening the preseason in Canton a week from today don't expect to see many big names against the Steelers.