When Dak Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in Week 5 last year, not only did his season end but so to did the hopes for the Dallas Cowboys to make the playoffs. Prescott has been vigorously rehabbing to get back on the field, and he's scheduled to participate in OTAs beginning next week.
On Sunday, Prescott spoke with ESPN's Sage Steele and gave an update on his status. What the former fourth-round pick had to say will undoubtedly put a smile on the faces of Cowboys fans everywhere.
“When I got hurt, I never said I wasn't going to let anybody put a time on it,” Prescott said. “Because I'm a competitive guy, and I knew once I heard the four to six [months], I was going to try to beat that. But I also knew I didn't have to be ready until fall. I'm right on pace. As I said, I'm healthy. If we had to play a game now, I feel like I can go out there. Obviously with the protection of my O-line and making sure I'm not getting beat up the whole game, I could go out there and be very successful, start the game, finish the game and not even worry about the leg.”
Not only is this an encouraging sign for the upcoming season but it echoes what Prescott said earlier this month about where he was in his rehab.
“I'm close,” Prescott said, via Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News. “I can go play in a game right now and in my head be very, very successful. So there is no doubt when that I need to be successful, when I need to do the things that it takes to be on the field, I'll do exactly that, and the timing will be right.”
Despite the gruesome nature of Prescott's injury, the Cowboys gave him his long-term security, finally, when they signed him to a four-year, $160 million deal with $126 million in guaranteed money back in March after nearly two years of negotiations.
Prescott will have his offensive line back intact as well. Tyron Smith missed 14 games in 2020 with a neck injury, and La'el Collins missed the entire season with a hip issue. NFL Network's Jane Slater reported back in February that both starting tackles were ahead of schedule in their rehabs. Also, Zack Martin, who missed six games with a calf issue, will undoubtedly be back to his dominant self as the best guard in the NFL.
With his protection ready to roll, Prescott will have his first attempt to play a full season with his talented trio of wide receivers Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb. Not to mention, Tight End Blake Jarwin will be returning from his torn ACL that he suffered in the 2020 season opener against the Los Angeles Rams, and he'll be looking to have his breakout season as the successor to Jason Witten.
The Cowboys are looking to make the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. Having Prescott back under center increases those odds greatly, and if he's upright for the entire season, the NFC East will be the Cowboys division to lose in 2021.