Immediately after the Dallas Cowboys Week 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jerry Jones told the media that Dak Prescott’s fractured thumb would keep him out six to eight weeks.
But in the time since, Jerry and Stephen Jones have commented that Prescott could return earlier than originally expected. They’ve cited the successful surgery Prescott underwent to repair the fracture as the reason why the QB could miss less time than expected.
Because of this, Prescott has avoided the injured reserve list which would require him to sit for a minimum of four games.
But is Dallas rushing back its star QB too soon? Here’s why the Cowboys should seriously consider holding off on bringing Prescott back until he’s fully healthy.
Finger injuries are no joke, just ask Russell Wilson
Last season when Russell Wilson was still with the Seattle Seahawks, he suffered an injury to the middle finger on his throwing hand in Week 5. Wilson’s injury was a bit more complicated than Prescott’s fractured thumb, though.
Wilson underwent surgery to fix tendon damage, a dislocation and two fractures in his finger. The initial prognosis was Wilson would be sidelined for six to eight weeks, just like Prescott.
But after just four weeks, Wilson returned to action. However, the injury clearly had a negative impact on Wilson’s abilities once he came back.
Wilson’s first game back was ugly. The nine-time Pro Bowler threw for just 161 yards and two interceptions in a game where Seattle was held scoreless against the Green Bay Packers.
In Wilson’s second game back, he had 207 passing yards, no touchdowns and no picks in a 23-12 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Game three was a bit better. Wilson racked up 247 passing yards and two touchdowns, but Seattle still fell short to the Washington Commanders, 17-15.
The Seahawks went on to have a 7-10 record last season, finishing fourth in the NFC West. This was the only time in Wilson’s 10 seasons with the Seahawks that his team was under .500. It was also the first time with Wilson under center that Seattle finished worse than second in the division.
Considering the glaring similarities in Wilson’s compared to what Prescott is dealing with now, the Cowboys should allow Cooper Rush to run the offense until there’s no doubt Prescott is ready to return at full strength.
Cowboys schedule could play in Prescott’s favor
On Sunday night after the Cowboys win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Jerry Jones said Rush’s efforts will not impact Prescott’s timeline to return. Meaning no matter how well Rush performs in these upcoming weeks, Prescott will return as soon as possible.
But someone should’ve shown Jones Dallas’ schedule before making that statement. Here are the Cowboys next six opponents before the Week 9 bye:
- Week 3: New York Giants (2-0)
- Week 4: Washington Commanders (1-1)
- Week 5: Los Angeles Rams (1-1)
- Week 6: Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)
- Week 7: Detroit Lions (1-1)
- Week 8: Chicago Bears (1-1)
The matchups with Los Angeles and Philadelphia will be tough, as the Rams are reigning Super Bowl champions and the Eagles have been impressive through its first two games.
But the other four games are favorable matchups that Dallas can win with Rush under center.
Earlier this week on 105.3 The Fan, Stephen Jones said the team is eying Week 4 or 5 for Prescott’s return, assuming the QB’s rehab is going according to plan.
But if Rush is winning games for Dallas, Prescott should stay on the sidelines until he’s 100% healthy. If the Cowboys go on a losing skid and the offense can’t jeb the job done, then it’s a different story.