Dak Prescott didn't take the field for the Dallas Cowboys' preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday and said he is taking things slowly with his injured shoulder.
"We're being cautious," he said, per Mike Leslie of WFAA. "We're taking it day-by-day. We're five weeks before the season opener, so I've got a lot of time. And I'm going to use that time to get myself ready for that game."
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported Thursday that the Cowboys "fully expect" Prescott to start Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Dallas previously announced the quarterback "has been limited to non-throwing drills the past week because of a strained shoulder muscle."
Using caution also makes sense considering he is coming back from a season-ending ankle injury that required surgery. That didn't stop him from signing a four-year, $160 million contract extension this offseason that further entrenched him as the franchise quarterback.
He looked the part of franchise quarterback as a two-time Pro Bowler who threw for more than 3,300 yards in each of his first four seasons in the league. The Mississippi State product turned heads in 2019 when he completed 65.1 percent of his passes for 4,902 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
While the injury concerns are lingering at this point, there is little questioning Prescott's status as one of the better quarterbacks in the league when healthy.
There is no need to risk his health in the preseason, especially with Dallas looking to bounce back from a 6-10 season that largely fell apart after he was sidelined.
He seems to be on track to take the field in Week 1 against the defending champions and will have quite the stage to announce his return in the NFC playoff race.