Cowboys Rumors: Dak Prescott Had 'Absolutely No Setbacks' in Shoulder Injury Rehab

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 21, 2021

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 13: Quarterback Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys watches from the sidelines during the first half of the NFL preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on August 13, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Dallas Cowboys 19-16. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott reportedly remains on track to start the team's Week 1 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 9 as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury.

Prescott recently told Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network there's "no doubt" he'll be ready for the regular-season opener despite missing practice time and preseason games. Pelissero provided the update Saturday:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Dallas has been extremely cautious to avoid setbacks, and doctors feel good about Dak’s progress. Plan is to ramp up his practice workload again next week, then cut him loose the week of the opener. Dak told me recently “there’s no doubt” he’ll be 100% in Week 1 and all season.

It's positive news after ESPN's Adam Schefter on Friday night suggested Prescott, who was limited to five appearances last year before he suffered a season-ending ankle injury, might not be all the way back to 100 percent during the 2021 season as he also deals with the shoulder issue.

"He's not fully back. He may not be back all season long," Schefter said (via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk).

Prescott was limited in practice throughout the week and isn't expected to take the field for Saturday night's preseason game against the Houston Texans.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday there's a "good chance" the two-time Pro Bowl selection won't play at all during the exhibition slate.

The 28-year-old Mississippi State product has been one of the NFL's best quarterbacks since Dallas selected him in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. He's completed 66 percent of his throws with 106 touchdowns and 40 interceptions across 69 career games. He's added 24 rushing scores.

If he's anywhere near full strength, the Cowboys should feature one of the league's most dynamic offenses with a playmaker group that includes running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, wide receivers Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup and tight end Dalton Schultz.

That said, the outlook becomes murky if Prescott is unavailable because the front office didn't add a proven backup during the offseason. Ben DiNucci, Cooper Rush and Garrett Gilbert are competing for the backup and No. 3 quarterback roles.

It wouldn't be a surprise if the Cowboys dip into the free-agent or trade markets closer to final roster cuts in search of a more seasoned reserve option, especially if there are any internal concerns about whether their starter can make it through a full 17-game slate.

For now, it sounds like Prescott will be ready to roll when Dallas tries to score an immediate statement win against the reigning Super Bowl champions in the opener.