Dallas Cowboys star Dak Prescott resumed practice for the first time since undergoing thumb surgery.
Michael Gehlken @GehlkenNFL
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is back on practice field, gripping and throwing a training ball. Not throwing footballs yet or taking snaps, 10 days removed from surgery on right thumb fracture. But this is part of him building toward quick return. As early as Week 4 or 5, team says. <a href="https://t.co/UrEycFaTRa">pic.twitter.com/UrEycFaTRa</a>
The two-time Pro Bowler remains limited for now as he works his way back to 100 percent.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Monday he thought Week 4 or 5 was the earliest Prescott is expected to get back on the field for game action.
That's better than the initial timeline.
ESPN's Todd Archer reported on Sept. 12 the veteran signal-caller was potentially out for six-to-eight weeks after surgery and was "likely" headed for injured reserve. One day later, however, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said an IR designation wasn't on the table.
Head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Monday that Prescott would have the stitches from his surgical procedure removed at some point this week, which represented a small step in his recovery. Still, McCarthy couldn't provide any more insight as to when his starting QB might be good to go.
Cooper Rush ran the offense in Week 2 and helped Dallas earn a 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He finished 19-of-31 for 235 yards and one touchdown.
Maybe the Cowboys can tread water long enough until they have Prescott back, but the NFC East is shaping up to be more difficult than it has been in recent seasons. The New York Giants look like a different team under first-year head coach Brian Daboll, while Jalen Hurts might be making the leap for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The longer Dallas is without Prescott, the more his absence could put a serious dent in the franchise's playoff ambitions. Luckily for McCarthy, it looks as though Prescott's recovery is on track.