On Sunday night, when reporters asked Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott if he would be playing in Week 7 against the Detroit Lions, his answer was pretty straightforward.
"“That’s my plan. Obviously, got to see the doc, but, yeah. I plan on going into this week and trying to get my full week of practice.”"
Prescott has had his return timetable questioned practically every day since he broke his thumb in the Week 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The QB1 had surgery on September 12, and the original prognosis was that he’d be out for about six to eight weeks. Jerry Jones, who is not a doctor, swore up and down that Prescott would be back within four weeks, and therefore refused to put him on the IR.
While the 29-year-old certainly made “progress” each week, he has yet to make a return in five weeks. During practices before Dallas headed to Philly, Prescott was throwing and taking snaps. He was even deemed a limited participant for the first time last Thursday.
His progress furthered while in Philadelphia. On Saturday, he threw two 7-on-7 sequences. Before Sunday’s game, the QB1 did a “scripted workout” with practice squad receivers where he completed about 50 throws and told reporters he felt great and right on track.
Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones halts hope for Dak Prescott’s return with latest interview quote
So, Prescott is planning to be the starter vs. the Lions, but the Cowboys’ front office isn’t ready to commit to that idea just yet.
Mike McCarthy has constantly said that he wants to make sure Prescott can throw for a full week before allowing him to start. On Monday, McCarthy said he believed his QB1 would be medically cleared to practice on Wednesday, but was still strategically using the term “if” when referring to whether or not Prescott would play on Sunday.
So was Stephen Jones. In an interview with 105.3 The Fan on Monday morning, the ever-optimistic EVP replied “that still remains to be seen” when asked about Prescott starting. Last week the narrative was that anything is possible. Now, with his return potentially happening, it’s “we’ll see what the week brings.”
Look. It’s a smart way to approach the situation. The team shouldn’t reveal whether he is playing, and they also do need to make sure he looks his best before sending him back out into the fire. However, the sentiment from McCarthy and Jones definitely had a different vibe than the determined and ready emotions Prescott had after Sunday Night’s game.
It also makes sense why people are pushing for Prescott to start at this time. Week 7 will mark the start of the initial six-week window of when he was initially expected to be back and ready. Plus, backup QB Cooper Rush’s magic seemed to run out against the Eagles last night.
After leading this team to four straight victories in Prescott’s absence (which Rush deserves immense credit for), Rush had a brutal night against the Eagles. Philly made sure everyone knew that Rush is a winning backup quarterback, but certainly not a franchise one. The Cowboys never pushed past 25 total points in a game in Rush’s five starts and third down was a big struggle for the backup.
While every single one of his teammates has given Rush credit for what he was able to do with such an injury-riddled team, it feels like the loss to Philly was the sign we all needed that there really is no QB controversy. People are ready to get Dak back, including RB1 Ezekiel Elliott:
"“We’re ready to get 4 back. As long as he’s healthy and ready to go, it will be good to get him back.”"
Expect a lot of confusing and vague quotes from the Joneses until Sunday. This front office loves to play games with opponents (hence Prescott’s “questionable” status last Sunday even though he definitely wasn’t playing) and they won’t miss an opportunity to mess with Detroit’s heads in Week 7.