The Dallas Cowboys are slowing down Dak Prescott’s return timeline as the quarterback continues to recover from a shoulder injury. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was quick to point out Prescott did not suffer a setback with his injury, but the Cowboys are opting to take a “step back” in clearing him to throw passes.
“I think it’s important to just address where he [Prescott] is,” McCarthy said as he opened his August 3rd press conference. “I think this is something we’ve kind of taken a step back. We still feel the same about the type of injury, but we’re just being more conservative with the timeline. He will not throw today. He will not play in the game Thursday night [vs. Steelers ] is the plan.”
Here is a look at McCarthy’s full press conference.
Garrett Gilbert Is Expected to Start vs. Steelers
As expected, Prescott will not play against the Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game. Dallas Morning News’ Calvin Watkins reported that Garrett Gilbert is listed as the team’s backup behind Prescott in the unofficial depth chart followed by Ben DiNucci and Cooper Rush. McCarthy noted the decision to be more conservative with Prescott is to ensure the injury does not “turn into something big.”
“After the research and looking at it, we just don’t want this to turn into something big,” McCarthy explained. “He’s doing everything that he possibly can, but we’re just being a little more conservative with his rehab.”
There is no reason for Cowboys fans to panic, but there should be some level of concern given Prescott is coming off two ankle surgeries. McCarthy emphasized that the decision was partly made as a result of the Cowboys having an extra week given the team is preparing for the NFL’s first preseason game on August 5.
Prescott on Injury: ‘I Don’t See This as Any Kind of Serious Setback’
According to the Cowboys official website, Prescott initially felt soreness in his arm and an MRI showed a strained muscle in his shoulder. After the injury was revealed, Prescott noted he did not view this as a “serious setback” heading into the 2021 season.
“I felt some soreness when making certain throws today, and I really just decided not to push things too far,” Prescott told DallasCowboys.com. “Better to be cautious and smart about it. I don’t see this as any kind of serious setback. We’ll treat it on a daily basis, and I’ll be fine.”
As for Prescott’s eventual return to the field, CBS Sports’ Patrik Walker reported the Cowboys are eying the August 21st game against the Texans as a “dress rehearsal” for the regular season. This could be the most likely date for Prescott to receive preseason snaps.
“Logistically speaking, Prescott was never going to lace up to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, Aug. 5, considering he would require more time to ramp back up to game speed after the aforementioned months-long absence from the football field,” Walker explained. “The next opportunity would be on Aug. 13 when the Cowboys head to State Farm Stadium to face the Arizona Cardinals, but that was also a long shot. Realistically, the team was and continues to eye their Aug. 21 matchup against the Houston Texans at AT&T Stadium — sources said this week — which could be treated as the dress rehearsal in the Cowboys four-game slate of games.”