Prescott fractured his thumb in the Cowboys’ disastrous opener and required surgery. He was originally slated to miss six to eight weeks, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on September 20 that he felt Prescott could return for a Week 4 matchup against the Washington Commanders on October 2.
“I don’t know that anybody knows [when he’ll be back],” Jones said during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan on September 20. “But when he [gets enough strength in his hand], then you’ll probably see some real advancement in his timeline. I don’t know when that is.
“It really could be a minimum of two weeks up here in my mind [Washington in Week 4]. Now, that’s very optimistic. But he’s got the kind of repair there that will allow him not to have a lot of fear of re-injuring it. It’s just a question of the grip. But it’s a big question.”
Rapoport: Cowboys Won’t Put Prescott in Harms Way
That sentiment of an expedited return was shot down by NFL insider Ian Rapoport, who reported before Sunday’s slate of games that the earliest Prescott could be inserted back into the starting role is October 16.
“Dak Prescott is out 4-6 weeks in total. He had surgery on September 12. When you look at the schedule, you can figure out when that sets out to. The earliest he’ll be back is October 16 against the Eagles,” Rapoport said. “Jerry Jones said this week he could be back next week. No, that’s not my understanding. He’s still focusing on getting the swelling down and then he has to work on how well he can grip a football. Simply, guys, the bone has to heal, and the Cowboys are not going to put their franchise quarterback in harm’s way just to get him out there for one game and then re-injure it.”
Even though the offense looked out of rhythm with Prescott under center in Week 1, he’s the premier piece when it comes to the Cowboys’ title hopes. Last season, he passed for 4,000-plus yards and 37 touchdowns.
Jones Said Cowboys Would Welcome QB Controversy
Cooper Rush started Week 2 in place of Prescott. He performed admirably in what was just the second start of his career, passing for 235 yards and a touchdown in a 20-17 victory against the Bengals.
Jones caused a stir this week by saying he’d welcome a “dilemma” at the quarterback position if Rush keeps winning games — a comment that caught many off guard.
“Of course I would,” Jones said. “Of course, that means we’d won. … If he comes in here and plays as well as Prescott played, Rush played that well over these next games, I’d walk to New York to get that.”
Jones’ comments led to others within the organization shooting down the idea, including Rush, who is just focused on taking it one week at a time as the Cowboys’ signal caller.
“I definitely don’t dream as big as Jerry. No, but just want to keep winning,” Rush said. “That’s the goal. That’s the plan. As long as I’m in there, that’s my job. Rely on those guys on defense and our offensive line and receivers and play within the system and trust them and get the job done.”
Rush will be back in the spotlight on September 26 against the Giants in prime time. Dallas is a slight 1-point road underdog, per Odds Shark.