ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys had already suffered a loss, 19-3, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But as owner Jerry Jones said, their second loss was even more disappointing: the loss of franchise quarterback Dak Prescott for the next “several” weeks.
Prescott will undergo surgery on Monday, he confirmed, for what Jones described as a fracture to the joint above his right thumb. The break came as Prescott attempted a screen pass to running back Ezekiel Elliott with 6:02 remaining in the fourth quarter, Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaq Barrett swatted Prescott’s thumb.
Prescott initially thought he jammed his finger when he realized he could not grip the ball. So he jogged to the sideline to ask the training staff to “yank” it back into place. Instead, the training staff quickly guided Prescott to the locker room for X-rays. The fracture was “cleaner than it could have been,” the team said, but Jones nonetheless described the disappointment as “excruciating.”
“Reminds me that this game, like life, can be pretty daunting,” said Jones, who also described the disappointment as “excruciating.”
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The Cowboys’ next four games are against the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, Washington Commanders and Los Angeles Rams.
Prescott didn’t miss a game during the first six years of his NFL career. But since 2020, he has missed 12 and counting. The Cowboys QB fractured and dislocated his right ankle in Week 5 of the 2020 season, needing two subsequent surgeries. Last season, he missed one game — after already resting the bye week — following a calf strain. Even this past Thursday, Prescott missed practice over concern about his ankle. The ankle did not keep him from the opener, but a new injury will sideline him for roughly a month, the Cowboys expect.
Jones was adamant Prescott will return this season.
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Jones was adamant Prescott will return this season, Prescott adding that medical staff told him the fracture was “cleaner than it could have been.”
“I’m obviously going to miss some time, not be there for my team,” Prescott said. “That’s what hurts more than anything, especially after the start that we just put out there. I wanted to be able to respond and not necessarily having that opportunity for several weeks.”
Prescott completed 14-of-29 pass attempts for 134 yards, no touchdowns and interception while rushing twice for 11 total yards. Cooper Rush closed the game with 7-of-13 passing for 64 yards. He is expected to start next week against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Prescott said he’ll do all he can to prepare Rush and teammates for that game and any others he misses. He was disappointed — but the quarterback who lost his mother to cancer in college and his brother to suicide in 2020 considered perspective.
“It’s not the worst thing that’s happened to me,” Prescott said. “Just another bump in the road.”
His teammates said they’ll rise to the challenge.
“You got two choices: You can run away from the storm or you can run right into it,” tight end Dalton Schultz said. “Everyone in this locker room, myself included, is running right into that mother(expletive).”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism