DALLAS — Etch it on the tombstone: Here lies the narrative of Dak Prescott's broken ankle.
The Dallas Cowboys quarterback told reporters on Wednesday that he has officially buried the narrative; it is time to focus on football.
"I’ve buried the injury, honestly guys, from the point of practice, from the point of just moving forward and going about my life, I’ve buried it mentally," Prescott said. "And I think you guys and a lot of people around have to help me and bury it as well as we move forward."
According to Prescott, the official date of burial was "somewhere around Cinco de Mayo."
"Had a good Cinco de Mayo, was a little active and at that time maybe did some little dance moves, and I felt like I’m ready to go," said Prescott. "So, that was the time that I said in my head, ‘The injury’s gone.’"
The injury may be gone to Prescott, but the latest memory of the two-time Pro Bowler on the field for Cowboys fans was of him getting his right ankle broken amid a 37-34 victory over the New York Giants on Oct. 11, 2020, at AT&T Stadium.
The nearly eight months since has revolved around how well the former 2016 fourth-round pick from Mississippi State has been able to work through his rehabilitation and how much of a workload he can handle on the practice fields at The Star.
Prescott says the film from the eight weeks of offseason workouts reveal a progression in his rehab, and most of it has centered around his ability to block out the mental aspect of his recovery.
Said Prescott: "When you go back and look on film from the first day to the last day of me scrambling, you can visibly tell that I’m running better. That’s the good part of it. But in rehab before this, I was doing all kinds of cuts, jumps and things like that that will happen in the scramble drill. So, never within the drill did I ever think about my leg, or did I ever think that this was part of the rehab rather than pushing myself, and I blocked that mentally."
Blocking out hardship is one of Prescott's best abilities, and one that third-year running back Tony Pollard admires about his franchise quarterback.
"Man, his mental and his physical toughness," said Pollard. "Not only what he shows you day in and day out, seeing him come in and work and do everything that all the other guys are doing, but just the way that he handles things that he goes through, like, he may go through on his own, like family-wise, like a lot of people can't handle that and come in and run the team and be the leader of the team. With him, he's a guy that's mentally and physically strong all around."
The 27-year-old from Haughton, Louisiana, admits that he does feel a little soreness in his leg and has dealt with "residual swelling," which was more common in the first week of teaching sessions. The physical absence helps him to forget all about the injury.
"I don’t even think about it before practice, pre-practice, but still doing all the necessary things and being smart that I am still only seven months away from the injury," said Prescott.
Do you foresee Dak Prescott bouncing back from his injury to pick up where he left off with Dallas’ high-scoring offense? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.