Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys will hold their first training-camp practice Thursday as the team prepares for its Hall of Fame Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers early next month.
For Prescott, it’s been a long road back after he suffered a devastating ankle injury five games into the 2020 season.
There’s been good news on this front for the two-time Pro Bowler throughout the offseason. While Prescott was limited during workouts, he’s looked to be 100 percent and ready to go.
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy touched on that Wednesday at the start of training camp, telling reporters from Oxnard, California, Prescott is expected to be a "full participant" in camp:
“Unless something comes out of the medical meeting, I see for him to be a full participant. But it’s still a projection, and we’ll see how it goes. We will watch him. But the way we approached the offseason program was to keep him out of the team drills, but he will participate in the team drills. That was really the last hurdle as I view it.”
Fresh off signing a lucrative four-year, $160 million extension this past spring, the Cowboys are relying on Prescott to be his pre-injury self this coming season. Prior to going down to the aforementioned injury against the New York Giants back in October 2020, Prescott had registered 45 total touchdowns against 15 interceptions in his previous 21 starts.
Injury-wise, Prescott appears to be just fine. It’s now going to be all about him taking that first hit on the field and seeing how he responds. It’s always an issue for a quarterback coming off a serious lower-body injury.
As for the Cowboys’ aspirations for the 2021 season, it’s pretty much going to rest on the former fourth-round pick from Mississippi State.
If he plays at the level we saw in 2019 and early during the 2020 campaign, Dallas’ offense is going to be among the best in the NFL. It should mask glaring issues on defense despite the addition of respected coordinator Dan Quinn and multiple starter-caliber players.
Dallas finished last season with a disastrous 6-10 record. It needs to rebound in order for Prescott to prove his worth as a franchise quarterback and for McCarthy to last longer than two seasons in Big D. That all begins with the Cowboys’ first training-camp practice in California on Thursday.