Put it on a tombstone: Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott buries ankle injury, is good to go

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As far as Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is concerned, he is done with all the scrutiny about his recovery from a fractured right ankle that sidelined him for the final 11 games of the 2020.

It was a dead issue to him about a month ago when he declared himself 100% recovered and ready to go.

“Somewhere around Cinco de Mayo,” Prescott said. “I really just ... yeah, had a good Cinco de Mayo, was a little active and at that time maybe did some little dance moves and I felt like I’m ready to go. So that was the time that I said in my head, ‘The injury’s gone.’”

After having no setbacks in workouts over the last three weeks, not only is the issue dead and buried in Prescott’s mind but he also wants a tombstone erected.

“So never within the drill did I ever think about my leg or did I ever think that this was part of the rehab rather than pushing myself and I blocked that mentally,” Prescott said. “I’ve buried the injury, honestly guys, from the point of practice, from the point of just moving forward and going about my life, I’ve buried it mentally.

“Put that right on the tombstone.”

Prescott and the Cowboys are able to move forward with confidence after a strong effort through the first two days of minicamp, cemented by a dazzling performance on Wednesday.

He is still being held out of team drills to keep rushers away from his legs but he took the most number of reps since he started working out and showed his best rhythm throwing the ball.

He had touchdowns passes to Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb and Aaron Parker in the red zone as well as deep balls to Gallup and Noah Brown.

“I think it just comes with reps,” Prescott said of his sharp play. “I think today was the most reps I’ve probably gotten. I think that helps from the fact of just getting those reps in and me being able to throw some passes and get in that groove and kind of get hot as I’ve said before, or feeling myself in that sense. It was a great way to finish the day and just to know that I’m getting better.”

Prescott’s confidence is buoyed by his ability to effortlessly change direction during scramble drills, and how his body has recovered from the extensive work.

He had some soreness in his right ankle early on, which he blames on the turf. But he has had no issues since.

“With all that gone and none of those effects, that’s what .. helps me bury it,” Prescott said. “I don’t even think about it before practice, pre-practice, but still doing all the necessary things and being smart that I am still only seven months away from the injury.”

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said the team is not naive and will continue to monitor Prescott as with any player coming back from injury.

But he says things couldn’t have gone any better with his recovery. Prescott has done more than they anticipated. McCarthy expects him to be cleared to do everything when training camp begins in July.

“He hasn’t missed anything that’s been slated. He’s doing a lot of extra, frankly, so the anticipation would be for him to go every day is the outlook,” McCarthy said. “I would anticipate we’d start with him in full mode, get him into the team periods and get back to playing football.

“... Physically, I think he’s right where he needs to be.”

It’s right where the Cowboys need him to be after banking on him returning to complete health for 2021 when they signed him to a four-year, $160 million contract in March.

The Cowboys never had any doubt that Prescott would be ready because he never had any doubt, and now he says there is no ceiling on what he can accomplish.

“To see myself seven months from the injury or whatever it is, just knowing that there is no limit,” he said. “There is no limit to what you can push yourself to do.

“There’s a lot of injuries that have more of a mental weight than they actually do a physical weight. And if you can learn how to get that off of you, just by pushing yourself, believing in what you can do, trusting the doctors and the people around you, you can do pretty much anything you want.”