When Dak Prescott’s name showed up on the Cowboys injury report Thursday afternoon as a limited practice participant, many fans in Dallas likely had flashbacks to the various injuries over the last two seasons which limited the quarterback’s ability to play. But when asked about the reason for his appearance on the list, Prescott downplayed his limited practice time, saying it wasn’t because of a genuine injury, just due to new shoes.
Prescott wore Jordan 11s last season, but has been wearing Jordan 1s so far in training camp and preseason practices. When he put on a new pair of 11s for practice for the first time Thursday, the switch evidently caused some soreness in his ankle, and the Cowboys decided it was smart to cut his practice short. But Prescott emphasized that the discomfort was not a real issue, just a precautionary choice, and he’ll still be at 100 percent when he starts Sunday.
“I feel great. I still feel the best that I’ve felt in a very, very long time,” Prescott said. “Not even comparable to where I was last year going into this game. Honestly, just excited and ready for Sunday to get here.”
The last few seasons for Prescott have been characterized by multiple injuries of various severities that either kept him off the field entirely or just made it more difficult to play at full potential. First it was an awful ankle dislocation and fracture in 2020, then upon his return the next year he battled shoulder and calf strains throughout the season. With a recent injury history and Thursday’s soreness coming on the surgically-repaired ankle, it makes sense to be extra careful with the face of the franchise.
Though Prescott repeatedly affirmed his health, saying, “I promise you I’m great,” some thought back to last season when he used a similar refrain to describe how he felt the first time his shoulder injury manifested. But when asked whether this could be a similar situation where a minor injury turns into a bigger issue than initially predicted, Prescott dismissed that possibility outright.
“Those are not even comparable,” Prescott said. “Obviously, when I found out about the shoulder, I had to take back what I said. But this isn’t even in, no, not even comparing.”
Prescott was listed as a full participant for Friday’s practice, which is definitely an indicator that the ankle will end up being a non-issue as the season begins. Coach Mike McCarthy said after Friday’s practice that having had the quarterback’s ankle checked out, he plans to have Prescott be a full participant Saturday and start as expected versus the Bucs.
“I don’t have any concern,” McCarthy said. “We do it with all the players. There’s always exams or things that go on. We react to everything. That’s just the nature of the game. I know the importance of Dak and the quarterback position but it’s really standard procedure to go through that anytime a player has an issue.”
The Cowboys will be playing against the Buccaneers this weekend on Sunday Night Football, and if all continues as planned it will be a chance for Prescott to remind people how well he can play when not hampered by injuries. But until then, any indication of pain is going to make Dallas hold its breath, even if only due to a change in footwear.
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