FRISCO, Texas – Kellen Moore didn’t leave much room for doubt about his starting quarterback.
One day removed from Dak Prescott’s return to full-team practice reps, the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator was asked about Prescott’s health. And while it’s commonly known that Prescott won’t be playing in the preseason finale, Moore was quite clear on where things stand.
“We’re just playing ball at this point. We’re not looking at anything from a limitation standpoint,” Moore said. “We’re playing football, and obviously from his standpoint we’re getting ready for the regular season and Tampa Bay.”
That’s welcome news at the tail end of the biggest storyline of this year’s training camp. Prescott took three weeks off of throwing after straining his right latissimus on July 28. Since then, he has gradually ramped up his activity, punctuated by completing 11-of-12 attempts in Wednesday’s practice.
“Having him out there in 11-on-11 is huge,” Moore said. “It’s great for him and it’s great for the morale of everyone on our team – I think especially for our offense. I thought he looked great, and we’re fired up.”
The Cowboys have stuck to their guns throughout this injury, insisting that Prescott would be able to return to action after resting the shoulder. Given Prescott’s importance to the team – not to mention his return from last year’s ankle injury – there has been plenty of speculation that it might not be so simple.
For all the outside hang-wringing, the drama never seemed to permeate inside the building. Moore said he didn’t even feel particularly relived by Prescott’s practice on Wednesday because it had been the culmination of a two-week process with Director of Rehabilitation Britt Brown and the rest of the Cowboys’ training staff.
“He’s done steps along the way – threw routes on air, threw in different periods with Britt and all those guys,” Moore said. “So once he’s released, we’re playing ball. I think we’re all at that point where we’re ready to rock and roll.”
The Cowboys do still have the benefit of time, however. With Prescott not participating Sunday against Jacksonville, Moore and the rest of the coaching staff have plenty of other things to see too – including the ongoing backup quarterback battle. From there, the team has an added week built into the schedule to acclimate after roster cuts.
From there, Sept. 9’s NFL opener in Tampa Bay is clearly visible. And from the sounds of it, Prescott will be quite ready for it.
“I think we all love where he’s at,” Moore said. “Obviously, you’d love to have these opportunities to practice in training camp, to have played last year more than he ended up playing. But we’re ready to just go play football, I think everyone is. He’s worked his tail off, done everything he could possibly do, and we’re just going to go for it.”