Dak Prescott is back on the field and throwing, marking a significant step in his road to returning from his gruesome ankle injury that ended his 2020 season.
The latest development from Prescott signals optimism from the Cowboys, who see his path leading him to a timely return this summer.
"We saw the video right there, great sign for the Cowboys and Dak Prescott, who's coming along really well from his ankle rehab," NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said on Wednesday's NFL NOW. "Remember, this is from not just one surgery but two surgeries, with his second, more minor surgery stabilizing the ankle ligament and, from the people I've spoken with, essentially speeding up and making sure his rehab is secure.
"Here's my understanding of where it stands: He's expected to be ready to go for training camp but they are not gonna put him in harm's way. So, I would expect him to be out there standing on the field in the spring, assuming there is on-field work. But I wouldn't expect him to do very much or be put at risk."
A slow and steady pace for rehab is the wise approach for the Cowboys, who don't stand to gain very much from rushing Prescott back in time for spring activities. Dallas signed Prescott to a lucrative extension this offseason because it believes he is the team's franchise quarterback, and nothing more will be proven in OTAs and minicamp.
Prescott has said he'll be ready "when it matters" and will return as a better version of himself. The version from 2020 was incredibly productive, as Prescott attempted to singlehandedly keep the Cowboys in games with his arm and legs while Dallas' defense struggled mightily. Once Prescott exited due to injury, things took a turn for the worst for the Cowboys, underscoring how important he is to the franchise's fortunes.
With this in mind, a cautious approach is clearly the best for the Cowboys. Prescott underwent a second surgery to ensure his effort to return would be as smooth and long-lasting as possible, and so far, so good.
"There is a lot of positivity surrounding Dak Prescott and this recovery right here with everyone expecting him back to 100 percent and frankly, in his mind, 110 percent, 120 percent because he's saying better than he was before," NFL Network's Mike Garafolo said on NFL NOW.
We'll have to wait until the fall to learn if Prescott is indeed better than ever. But as of now, he's on a steady path to prove himself right.