Cowboys' Dak Prescott's Shoulder Injury Rehab Timeline to Be 'More Conservative'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2021

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws against the Cleveland Browns during an NFL Football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

The Dallas Cowboys plan to be "more conservative" with quarterback Dak Prescott's shoulder injury rehab as the team nears preseason action, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.

"We're being more conservative with his timetable. ... We've kind of taken a step back. We still feel the same about the type of injury," McCarthy told reporters Tuesday.

He added: "After research and looking at, we just don't want this to turn into something big. ... We're just being a little more conservative with the rehab."

Prescott left practice last Wednesday with the injury, and an MRI revealed he had suffered a muscle strain.

The veteran said Friday he's "not worried" about the injury, noting he would practice and play in games had the injury occurred during the regular season.

The Cowboys are taking a cautious approach, though.

Prescott was limited to five appearances in 2020 because of an ankle injury that ended his season in October. He's been one of the NFL's top signal-callers since the Cowboys selected him in the 2016 draft, earning two Pro Bowl selections.

The 28-year-old Mississippi State product played his first four pro seasons without missing any games because of injury, making 69 consecutive starts to open his career.

When Dallas opens its preseason slate against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, it seems likely to do so without Prescott. Garrett Gilbert should get the first crack to take the reins of the Cowboys' star-studded offense. Ben DiNucci and Cooper Rush are the team's other reserve quarterbacks.

Dallas took a calculated risk by not signing a proven backup QB after the departure of Andy Dalton. If Prescott misses a significant amount of time and the backups struggle, the front office may look to the trade market for an upgrade at the sport's most important position.