Cowboys' Dak Prescott No Longer on Pitch Count Amid Shoulder Injury Recovery, OC Says

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 26, 2021

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) tosses a pass during NFL football practice in Frisco, Texas, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
AP Photo/LM Otero

Dallas Cowboys star Dak Prescott continues to progress in his recovery from a right shoulder injury with the 2021 NFL regular season rapidly approaching.

The two-time Pro Bowler returned to team drills Wednesday, and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore told reporters Thursday he "looked great."

"We're just playing ball at this point," Moore said, adding that Prescott wasn't limited in practice with a pitch count.

Head coach Mike McCarthy also said Prescott was eager to get back on the field:

Jon Machota @jonmachota

Mike McCarthy on Dak Prescott: “He’s a caged lion. He’s a competitor. … He makes the whole practice better because of the way he approaches it. Just his warmup before practice is game-like. He treats it the way you’d love to see all your players treat it.”

Concern about the quarterback's status for the start of the year grew as his recovery dragged on through the summer. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported Aug. 5 that Cowboys trainers reached out to members of the Texas Rangers training staff since Prescott's injury resembled something more often seen in baseball players.

However, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported Aug. 21 the signs were pointing to Prescott starting Sept. 9 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Whether the 28-year-old will be fully healthy may be another matter. ESPN's Adam Schefter (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk) reported the same day that Prescott was "not fully back" and "may not be back all season long."

Prescott's value to the Cowboys was evident in 2020, when the team finished 6-10 after a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle knocked Prescott out for the year in Week 5.

Entering 2021, Dallas isn't a dramatically different squad since the front office had little financial flexibility with which to sign free agents. As a result, the franchise's fate rests squarely on Prescott's shoulders.

Moore's comments were encouraging, but the extent to which the injury may affect Prescott won't be apparent until he steps on the field.