A Cowboys team that had prepared to live without Dak Prescott until the second half of the season is now assuming he can return in mid-October.
This accelerated timeline is based on the type of fracture he suffered, not the over-the-top optimism that Jerry Jones is famous for.
The surgery revealed Prescott suffered an extra-articular fracture in his right thumb during the team’s loss to Tampa Bay, a person with knowledge of the procedure said. This is a fracture that occurs above the wrist joint and does not extend into the joint itself.
This injury usually results in a recovery period of four to six weeks. That’s why Jones told KRLD-FM (105.3) The Fan that the club wouldn’t place Prescott on the injured list, a move that would force the quarterback to miss at least four games before returning.
Is the Cowboys owner a chronic optimist?
Are the timetables he publicly offers on how quickly a player can return from injury tinged with hope rather than reality?
Usually. Countless examples exist over the years.
But it is not the case here. There’s a valid medical reason Prescott won’t miss the widely reported six to eight weeks following the injury.
Club officials initially feared that Prescott could suffer an intra-articular fracture, a more intrusive fracture that impacts the wrist joint. The return from this injury is six to eight weeks away, which is why it was feared that he would be out and not return before the team’s game against Green Bay on November 13.
When this timeline was proposed, those who spoke about the injury pointed out that no definitive timeline would be set until after the operation was complete, when the surgeon would be able to determine the extent of the damage.
Keeping Prescott on the active roster is confirmation that his fracture is less serious. Had he suffered the joint damage that accompanies an intra-articular fracture, he would have been placed on the injured list on Tuesday to free up a spot on the roster. Not being placed on injured reserve also allows him to do practice reps once he nears a potential comeback.
Now, you want to talk about Jones and his uncontrollable optimism? The idea that Prescott will return for the Cowboys’ game against the LA Rams on Oct. 9 — the main reason to keep a player on the active roster is that you think he’ll miss less than four games — is one example. While that hits the start of the injury period, it sounds overly optimistic when you’re talking about a thumb injury on a quarterback’s throwing hand.
A more likely target would appear to be the Cowboys’ divisional showdown in Philadelphia next week. That would be 34 days after surgery.
That would give Prescott three more games than he likely would have played had he suffered the more serious fracture.
Prescott’s return is no guarantee of victory. You saw what his presence meant in the opener against Tampa Bay. But he obviously gives the Cowboys a better chance of winning going forward than Cooper Rush.
Good news? Relatively. But that doesn’t address the Cowboys’ ability to win in Prescott’s absence.
If Dallas is unable to pull off a win or two before Prescott returns, the first hole may be too deep for the Cowboys to escape even with most of the season remaining.
The Cowboys still find themselves in a perilous position. But Prescott’s return next month will give the team something Jones values above all else.
“I was told it was a lot cleaner than it could have been,” Prescott told reporters after the loss to the Buccaneers. “It’s unfortunate, but I will do what I have always done when adversity comes.
“Take it head first.”
Find David Moore on The Ticket (KTCK-AM 1310 and 96.7 FM) with the Musers at 9:35 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and The Hardline every Tuesday and Friday at 4:30 p.m. during Cowboys season.
Find more Cowboys coverage from the Dallas Morning News here.
#Jerry #Jones #timeline #Dak #Prescotts #return #Cowboys #based #illusion