The showdowns between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys are always some of the most important in the NFC East race, and Dak Prescott may be ready to go for their Week 6 clash.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported "there was a lot of optimism after the surgery" for the Cowboys quarterback's broken thumb, especially since he wasn't placed on injured reserve.
"From my understanding, [there is an] outside chance that he's able to play Oct. 16 against the Eagles," Rapoport said.
"If we thought he wasn't going to be ready to go until after four games, we would put him on IR," Jones said. "We're not doing that. We think he can come in and play, so we don't want to not have him out there practicing."
Dallas faces the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, Washington Commanders and Los Angeles Rams during the next four contests before that Week 6 Eagles game during what promises to be a difficult and important stretch.
The Giants and Commanders are each in the NFC East, and the Bengals and Rams were the two teams that reached the Super Bowl last season.
The Cowboys will look to navigate those games with Cooper Rush, who won the only start of his career last season against the Minnesota Vikings but has attempted just 63 passes in the NFL.
It will likely be up to playmakers such as Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb and Tony Pollard to keep the team afloat until Prescott can return. Dallas was unable to do that in 2020 when an ankle injury limited the two-time Pro Bowler to just five games and the team missed the playoffs at 6-10.
A similar record may not be in store if Prescott can return in time for the majority of the season, but things figure to be difficult in the immediate future.