Two hundred and twenty-five days. That’s how long Cowboys Nation held its breath. On Monday came the long-awaited exhale.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a horrific injury on October 11 in the team’s Week 5 game against the Giants. On a first-down play nearing the red zone in the third quarter of the contest, Prescott received a shotgun snap and took off running. Trying to pick up the first down, he went to the turf awkwardly in the grasp of a Giants defender. He had suffered a total dislocation and compound fracture of the right ankle. His season was over, and by the time he had been driven into the tunnel, in tears on the back of a cart, most Cowboys fans assumed their season was, too.
On May 24, the first day of voluntary organized team activities, Prescott was back on the practice field, wearing a helmet and throwing real-speed passes to route-running receivers being covered by actual defenders for the first time since.
Along the way, there were photos from hospital beds, visits with his teammates while balancing on crutches, a second cleanup surgery, and various appearances at local sporting events and community service opportunities. Oh, and the high drama surrounding whether he would come to terms on a new contract or play the second straight year on a franchise tag.
And through it all, a vow from Prescott himself that he would be ready in time to participate in the 2021 offseason program.
As recently as May 4, the five-year veteran said he could go play in a game “and be very successful.” He went on to say say, “By training camp, I’ll be in dominating fashion, better than I was before I came off the field.”
Seven months and 13 days after the injury, Prescott was back out there. Whether he was actually dominating on Day One or noticeably better than he had been before is something that perhaps only Prescott himself would be able to answer.
But for now, for Cowboys fans everywhere, for the team’s owners and coaches and players, this is cause enough for a collective sigh of relief.