Oct 10, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates with Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) after a touchdown by Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (not pictured) in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott had surgery; WR Cooper on block?

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott underwent surgery on his left shoulder at the end of the 2021 regular season, addressing an injury incurred in the first contact practice of training camp last summer.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said the team expects “no issues” with Prescott’s recovery and that he will only experience short-term limitations during rehab.

Speaking for the first time since a press conference with owner Jerry Jones in the days after the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers ended the Cowboys’ season, McCarthy also addressed lingering elephants in the room — rumors the team is clearing the runway to hire Sean Payton as head coach and that Dallas is shopping $20 million wide receiver Amari Cooper.

“I’ll just say this: It’s a narrative I don’t want to be a part of,” McCarthy said of the Payton rumors. “I don’t think anybody wants to be a part of it on either side of the fence. Nothing good comes out of that. I think you do need to understand, I get to spend a lot of time with Jerry — both as the owner and as the GM. In our conversations, we talk about the partnership between the head coach and the GM. The strength of the partnership, short-term plan, long-term plan. … He addressed it, we laughed about it and moved on.

“I don’t see it as any type of topic or anything that gets in the way of winning.”

McCarthy said he and Jones are speaking regularly about the “major decisions about our current roster” that reportedly include Cooper’s future with the team. Jones called out Cooper for not producing on the level expected given his salary on the heels of a $100 million contract extension.

McCarthy said he loves “getting the ball to Amari Cooper” and he loves players “wanting to do more.”

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said Monday at the combine that there were “moving parts” and things that would develop regarding Cooper that he couldn’t address, again raising the notion the 27-year-old could be traded.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy talk before their game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys’ Dak Prescott returning to play against Broncos

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said Thursday that he will be back in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.

Prescott missed last Sunday night’s 20-16 victory over the Minnesota Vikings due to a strained right calf. He was injured during a 35-29 overtime win over the New England Patriots on Oct. 17.

“I’m feeling good,” Prescott said after being a full participant in Thursday’s practice. “Obviously I had two weeks to do a lot of rehab and recover, get everything that I needed to, the different modalities, and I feel good. Had two great days of practice and looking forward to Sunday.”

Prescott said the calf is “pretty close” to 100 percent.

The Cowboys had a bye the week after Prescott was injured but the calf didn’t heal sufficiently and Prescott was ruled out shortly before kickoff against the Vikings.

Backup Cooper Rush made his first career start and passed for 325 yards and two touchdowns, including the winning 5-yard toss to Amari Cooper with 51 seconds left.

Prescott found watching a game to be a bit surreal and initially disappointing.

“Every opportunity that we get to go out there, you don’t get many of them, you want to take advantage of it. But in the same sense, I got over it quick,” Prescott said. “I knew the perspective. I knew where we were coming from and this is a long journey.

“And we are a team that we can play for a long time. We can play into that last game so I had to keep that in mind when the decision was made.”

Dallas (6-1) has won six straight games and Prescott is enjoying a fine season with 1,813 yards, 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions through six games.

The time leading up to kickoff against the Broncos (4-4) will include avoiding any setbacks.

“I won’t stop doing all the things necessary to make sure that I stay on top of it,” Prescott said.

Meanwhile, standout receiver CeeDee Lamb (ankle) missed practice Thursday one day after being injured. Offensive tackle Tyron Smith (ankle) and tight end Blake Jarwin (hip) also sat out.

Cooper (hamstring) was limited while cornerback Trevon Diggs (ankle) was a full participant. Diggs leads the NFL with seven interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (calf) ruled out vs. Vikings

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will miss Sunday night’s game against the Minnesota Vikings due to his calf injury.

Prescott tested his strained right calf prior to Sunday’s contest in Minneapolis and the Cowboys decided he wasn’t physically fit to play.

Team trainer Britt Brown and coach Mike McCarthy apparently relayed the decision when they huddled with Prescott on the field.

Cooper Rush will make his first career start in place of Prescott. The 27-year-old has thrown three career passes, all in 2017.

Prescott was listed as questionable for the contest but wanted to go through the weekend to see if the calf improved.

Prescott sustained the calf strain in a Week 6 victory over the New England Patriots. The Cowboys followed with a bye week, but that wasn’t enough time to allow the injury to heal.

Not playing against the Vikings gives Prescott the chance to get the calf healthy prior to next Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.

Prescott has passed for 1,813 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions this season.

Entering the week, the Cowboys led the NFL in both scoring offense (34.2 points per game) and total yardage (460.8).

Will Grier will be the Cowboys’ backup quarterback on Sunday. He was claimed by Dallas in early September after being released by the Carolina Panthers.

Grier, 26, started two games for the Panthers in 2019 and lost both. He passed for 228 yards and four interceptions without throwing a touchdown.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) warms up prior to the game against the New York Giants as Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush (10) looks on at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott still in limbo; Cooper Rush prepares to start

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is listed as questionable for Sunday night’s game against the Minnesota Vikings due to his troublesome calf injury.

The Cowboys would like to decide Saturday but are willing to wait until Sunday before determining whether or not Prescott will play.

If Prescott sits out, Cooper Rush will make his first NFL start. He has thrown three career passes, all in 2017.

As for Prescott, he was a limited participant on Friday but reported soreness in the morning after pushing the pace during Thursday’s practice.

“He’s confident. He doesn’t waver. He wants to play, and he wants to continue to work toward that,” Dallas coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Friday.

Prescott sustained the calf strain in a Week 6 victory over the New England Patriots. The Cowboys followed with a bye week but that wasn’t enough time to allow the injury to heal.

He displayed earlier this week that he understands there is a risk if he returns too soon. Also, team trainer Britt Brown has to clear Prescott.

“It’s not fully my decision because there is a bigger picture,” Prescott said. “It’s more than just one game.”

The Cowboys have given Rush the bulk of the practice repetitions all week while Prescott has mainly been involved in individual drills and rehabbing the calf.

“That helps more than usual,” the 27-year-old Rush told reporters. “Usually you’re preparing for a game as the backup without getting any reps all week. So definitely going into it, you feel a whole lot better.”

McCarthy indicated he isn’t concerned if Rush gets the call.

“He’ll be ready to go,” McCarthy said. “If he’s up, he’ll be ready to go. We’ve still got some time.”

In addition to Prescott, Dallas listed left tackle Tyron Smith (ankle) and defensive end Dorance Armstrong (ankle) as questionable.

Minnesota will play without defensive tackle Michael Pierce (elbow), defensive end Patrick Jones II (knee) and tight end Ben Ellefson (knee, foot). Ellefson was placed on injured reserve Thursday and must miss at least three games.

Vikings wideout Dede Westbrook (ankle) is questionable.

–Field Level Media

Dec 22, 2019; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA;  Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs out of the tunnel in front of quarterback Cooper Rush (7) before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

QB Dak Prescott still limited as Cowboys prep for Vikings

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott remains limited Thursday as Dallas prepares to visit the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Prescott, also limited in Wednesday’s practice, is recovering from a calf strain and wore a protective boot most of the past week during the Cowboys’ bye.

If all goes well in the early portion of Thursday’s practice, Prescott could graduate to a predetermined number of reps in team drills.

The Cowboys could keep all three of their quarterbacks on the active roster at Minnesota, head coach Mike McCarthy said, and the plan for the team is to evaluate Prescott at the end of each workday leading up to the Week 8 game.

“Good response. He did a lot of work (Wednesday),” McCarthy said of the first measure of Prescott’s progress.

Cooper Rush, the backup to Prescott, is taking most of the first-team snaps. McCarthy said the locker room has a “ton of faith” in Rush to perform if called upon.

“He’ll be ready to go if we hand him the ball,” McCarthy said.

Will Grier would likely be the third quarterback, but McCarthy didn’t commit to any formal contingency plan Thursday.

Prescott will do a little bit more each day, with the Cowboys scaling back his work if necessary. The injury is similar to the calf strain that sidelined wide receiver Michael Gallup since Week 1. Gallup was back at practice Wednesday.

But Prescott said the physical demands of the position, as it relates to the specific injury, are much different for a quarterback than wide receiver.

“We’re trying to push it as far as we can right now and we’re going to stick to the plan,” McCarthy said.

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws the ball against the New England Patriots during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott spotted at The Star sans boot

Quarterback Dak Prescott was spotted at The Star without the walking boot he wore into the bye week, and the Dallas Cowboys are optimistic about a rising level of health around the team.

Wide receiver Michael Gallup, out since the opening night loss at Tampa with a calf injury, is set to return to practice on Wednesday, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said. Jones added that defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (foot) isn’t close to being back.

But Prescott is not expected to miss time with a calf injury that led to him wearing a protective boot home from the Cowboys’ win at New England in Week 6. He smiled and said he wanted the media to have something to talk about this week when asked on Monday how he was feeling.

Jones said Prescott was day-to-day but pointed to a high level of optimism about the quarterback playing against the Minnesota Vikings this week.

“It would have been a tough one for him to make it (this past Sunday), but that would be speculating,” Jones said during a press conference discussing the World Cup. “I don’t know. Obviously, we would have had the way we were treating him differently if we were trying to get him to play today versus next week. That does afford us a little leeway to work with him in terms of having until next Sunday.”

Prescott was lost for the season with a dislocated ankle in October 2020. He rehabbed for months, signed a long-term contract and reported to training camp in tremendous shape by his own measure.

During the Cowboys’ first padded practice, Prescott injured his shoulder and rested for most of the preseason.

He hasn’t missed time during the regular season, returning to start Week 1 at Tampa. Prescott is currently the second favorite for the 2021 NFL MVP Award — undefeated Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is first — according to BetMGM.

–Field Level Media

Dec 15, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates after throwing a second quarter touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Forbes: Dak Prescott is NFL’s highest earner in 2021

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott and Tampa Bay counterpart Tom Brady will square off in the NFL’s season opener Thursday night.

The Cowboys star already holds a sizable lead over the Buccaneers legend when it comes to their wallets, however.

According to Forbes magazine, Prescott is the league’s highest-earning player so far in 2021 with $87 million. Brady ranks No. 2 with $72.5 million, per the figures reported by the publication on Friday.

Prescott, 28, received a record $66 million signing bonus when he signed a four-year, $160 million deal with Dallas in March. His pretax earnings include $12 million from endorsements.

Brady, 44, has the bragging rights when it comes to endorsements. Coming off his seventh Super Bowl title, he has supplemented his $27.5 million in on-field earnings with $45 million in endorsement deals.

Seven of the top 10 spots in the Forbes rankings are quarterbacks.

Trailing Prescott and Brady are Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes ($44.8M), Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers ($33.4M), San Francisco offensive tackle Trent Williams ($33.3M), Washington defensive tackle Jonathan Allen ($31.2M), Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson ($31M), Jacksonville rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence ($30.8M), Detroit quarterback Jared Goff ($27.7M) and New York Giants defensive tackle Leonard Williams ($26.2M).

The top 10 NFL players are set to make $418 million in 2021, an increase of 9 percent from last year.

–Field Level Media

Jul 29, 2021; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) during training camp at the River Ridge playing fields at the Residence Inn by Marriott in Oxnard, California. Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott to increase practice activity

Quarterback Dak Prescott will be more involved in Dallas Cowboys’ practices next week.

Head coach Mike McCarthy and the team’s training staff limited Prescott this week to a hard “pitch count” and he remains restricted to short-distance throws.

Prescott is recovering from a Grade 1 shoulder strain and last went through a full workout with the team on July 27. He was injured the next day in the Cowboys’ first padded practice of training camp in Oxnard, Calif.

“He’ll definitely be involved in some form of practice more than this week,” McCarthy said, “but to stand here and tell you he’d be full go and take all the reps, I’m not there yet.”

Prescott won’t play in Saturday’s preseason game with the visiting Houston Texans.

–Field Level Media

Aug 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) looks on prior to a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott still limited, won’t play Saturday

Insisting the long view should not be misread as a setback, Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy plans to keep quarterback Dak Prescott in upramp phase until next week.

McCarthy would not officially rule out Prescott with a shoulder strain, but said there’s a “good chance” he won’t be on the field this preseason.

Without a full practice, Prescott will not play Saturday in the preseason game with the Houston Texans. He was limited for Wednesday’s practice as he makes slight increases to his throwing volume, McCarthy added.

McCarthy said the Cowboys would have a better idea where Prescott stands in a few days, but the update won’t have a bearing on Prescott’s status for the preseason affair with the Texans.

Prescott remains on track to play in the Week 1 NFL kickoff game against the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers in Tampa on Sept. 9.

He hasn’t practiced fully since injuring his shoulder on July 28. Multiple MRI exams showed no major structural damage, according to the team.

Prescott’s next game action will be his first since a season-ending ankle injury last October, and first live snaps since signing a four-year, $160 million contract in the offseason.

–Field Level Media

Jul 29, 2021; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Dak Prescott (4) and quarterback Garrett Gilbert (3) during training camp at the River Ridge playing fields at the Residence Inn by Marriott in Oxnard, California. Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys tap brakes on QB Dak Prescott’s return from injury

Head coach Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys are slowing the pace of quarterback Dak Prescott’s return from a shoulder strain.

McCarthy said Tuesday the team has “taken a step back” and wants to be conservative with any throwing and shoulder use with Prescott with more than a month before the team kicks off the regular season against Tampa Bay.

Prescott did not throw Tuesday and is out for the preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday.

“After research and looking at, we just don’t want this to turn into something big,” McCarthy said. “We’re just being a little more conservative with the rehab.”

When he resumes throwing, Prescott will be on a “pitch count,” per McCarthy.

Garrett Gilbert has taken the first-team reps at quarterback since Prescott left the team’s first padded practice in Oxnard, Calif., last Wednesday.

Prescott is dressed and attending practices, sometimes throwing left-handed and other times tucking the ball and running instead.

He was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain and given a timetable of two weeks to return to full practice. McCarthy said Tuesday the diagnosis remains the same — shoulder strain — but the timetable for Prescott to practice without limitation has been revised.

Prescott enters the 2021 season with a new long-term deal signed in the offseason worth $160 million over four years.

Team owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys have “no concern” with Prescott’s health after he ended the season on injured reserve with an ankle injury that required surgery.

Prescott said upon arrival at training camp in Oxnard, Calif., that he’s in the best shape of his career. He missed the final 11 games of the 2020 season.

–Field Level Media