Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome injury -- later revealed as a compound right ankle fracture -- and he was carted off the AT&T Stadium turf in Arlington, Texas, holding back tears while heading to the hospital for surgery Sunday night.
A 37-34 loss to the Cowboys (2-3) was important for the Giants (0-5), especially after a long list of all-too-familiar problems resurfaced. However, Prescott's injury was bigger than football, a shaken-up defensive back Logan Ryan said after the game.
"First and foremost, the worst thing that happened today was the Dak injury -- I mean, bigger than football," said Ryan, who tackled Prescott on a nine-yard run with 6:46 left in the third quarter. "I mean, I felt terrible. It was a routine football play. Look, I studied a lot. I thought this game come down a lot to me and Dak.
"I know it's a team game, but my job in this game plan was make it tough on Dak and he made it really tough on us. He's a hell of a player. He's gotten a lot better on his reads. He's got a really good arm.
"I mean, he was tearing it up there and he was making it hard on me and that's why it sucks, man. I mean, you've got a guy who -- I'm in a similar position. He's scratching and clawing, one year on his deal to try to get rewarded, try to do the right thing, try to show up to work, try to lead his team, try to get a lucrative contract and had to come out and prove it this year. For him to get that type of injury, I mean, that's why I feel like Dak -- I hope he gets $500 million when he comes back. He deserves it. He's a hell of a quarterback."
Prescott completed 14 of 21 passes (66.7 percent) for 166 yards and zero touchdowns to one interception. With his legs, he added two rushes for seven yards (3.5 average).
Similar to Prescott, who signed his franchise tender for more than $31 million in hopes of landing a lucrative contract after the season, Ryan is betting on himself. He signed a one-year deal with the Giants for up to $7.5 million Sept. 4.
With Prescott suffering a season-ending injury before the pivotal offseason, Ryan felt especially bad. Ryan, who previously played for the New England Patriots (2013-16) and Tennessee Titans (2017-19), experienced a similar injury but came back stronger.
As Prescott undergoes his procedure, Ryan hopes he follows the same blueprint, ripping a page out of legendary Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant while doing so. The late Bryant suffered a ruptured Achilles late in his NBA career April 12, 2013, but he attacked the rehabilitation process with the "Mamba Mentality."
"That was nothing but a routine tackle, two competitors -- he was trying to stiff arm me, I'm trying to tackle, punch the ball out -- and when I saw it, I saw it immediately," Ryan said. "I broke my fibula. I broke my leg two years ago. And came back a better player. And I just wanted to wish him well. I mean, obviously no mal(icious) intent there. But I went through a similar injury a couple years ago and I just thought, 'What would Kobe do?'
"I hope he comes back. I hope he gets 500 million. He deserves it. And honestly, that was the worst thing that happened today. I got a sick taste in my stomach for it because he was playing a hell of a game. It was a hell of a battle between us. So I hate to see it, but stuff like that -- adversity -- it makes it real ... I heard he's getting surgery tonight. I asked my people to reach out so I can send him a tweet or get his phone number and wish him the best of luck. But nothing ill will on my part. Man, he's a hell of a player, he's having a hell of a year and I know he's going to come back even stronger."