There is little doubt Dak Prescott is going to play Week 1 when the Dallas Cowboys square off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. NFL.com’s Gil Brandt just gave an update that is a cause for concern among Cowboys fans. After a conversation with Prescott, the longtime Cowboys front office member admitted he believes the quarterback will be less than 100% when the regular season starts.
“Had a long talk with Dak Prescott yesterday out in Frisco,” Brandt tweeted. “He expects to be out there when the Cowboys open the season. I think it would take a lot to keep him from playing, just not sure he’ll be at 100%. Season tilts on his health.”
Both Prescott and the Cowboys have maintained that the quarterback will be ready for the start of the season. Brandt’s comments bring into question not whether Prescott will play in Week 1, but if the quarterback will be able to perform at a high level. The Cowboys have tried to downplay Prescott’s shoulder injury, but it is less than ideal timing for a quarterback who has been sidelined since October.
Prescott Confirmed He Will Play vs. Bucs in Week 1
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy has essentially ruled out Prescott playing in the preseason which means the quarterback’s first meaningful snaps in close to a year will be against the defending Super Bowl champs. During an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Prescott once again reaffirmed his status for the regular season.
“Still being very cautious with everything moving forward, just trying to make sure I don’t have any setbacks or anything that lingers throughout the season, so I can hit Week 1 rolling and no speed bumps,” Prescott noted.
Prescott Is Expected to Miss the Entire Preseason
If you believe the Cowboys, the team is simply taking a cautious approach and trying to avoid overworking Prescott. There is also a benefit to downplaying the injury given how 2020 played out. McCarthy indicated the main goal for Prescott is to ramp up his throws heading into the start of the season.
“If he doesn’t play this week, I wouldn’t play him in the fourth game,” McCarthy told reporters on August 16th. “To me, the fourth game is for the players that are competing for the final roster spots, that’s what I believe in. I think it’s definitely the case for us this year. If you look at the way this is shaking out, it’s definitely needed across a number of different positions. So, we’ll see how the week goes, but there’s no urgency from my perspective to see Dak play in Houston. This is more about, you just don’t want to create a setback possibility. His volume of throwing leading up to that point, he’s probably in mid-season form just for the amount of work that he put in over the summer, coming out of the OTAs. So, we’re just trying to get that volume back to where it belongs.”
For those with concern about Prescott’s shoulder, it looks like you will not have an answer until the quarterback takes the field on September 9th. The Cowboys will also be monitoring how Prescott’s shoulder responds in the days following the team’s matchup against the Buccaneers. Questions about Prescott’s health are sure to follow the Cowboys into the regular season.