Dallas Cowboys ‘optimistic’ about Dak Prescott’s calf strain after Monday’s MRI

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FRISCO, Texas – Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott got into a running shoe as he boarded the team bus to leave Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.

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Back at team headquarters on Monday, the walking boot continued to encircle his lower right leg.

But the Cowboys are optimistic about Prescott’s forecast because an MRI on Monday confirmed initial speculation of a calf strain. The Cowboys enter goodbyes this week ahead of October 31’s “Sunday Night Football” competition in Minnesota.


“We’re going to rest and rehab this week and then we’re going to reevaluate Monday,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Monday afternoon. “(Head athletic trainer) Jim (Maurer)’s words were optimistic for Minnesota. But like any calf strain, especially this early, close to injury, the timeline varies.

“But we are optimistic.”

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Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup suffered a calf strain in Dallas’ season opener on September 9. He has yet to rejoin the practice. But Dallas doesn’t expect Prescott’s recovery to follow that blueprint.

McCarthy declined to speculate whether Prescott could practice and play this week if Dallas (5-1) didn’t come to its bye. But he welcomed the time.

“Goodbye week is at the right time,” McCarthy said. “On many fronts, this is a good week for goodbye week.”

Prescott suffered a calf strain in the final game 35-29 overtime road win against New England Patriots. Prescott escaped straight on a designed rollout, bypassing his first read (tight end Dalton Schultz covered in flat) for wide receiver CD Lamb as Lamb streaked down the right. Lamb took the catch and ran to the end-zone to end his 149-yard, two-touchdown night.

In the throes of victory, Prescott felt pain in his calf.

“Funny came down” He said taking the postgame question in the walking boot. “I’ll be fine, I can promise you that.”

Prescott said he believed the injury would not have prevented him from playing the rest of the competition if he had sustained the injury over time. But as the adrenaline wore on, he knew something was right. Prescott underwent two surgeries on his right ankle – a strained calf is also on his right leg – in 2020 after suffering a compound fracture and dislocation that left him sidelined in the last 11 games of last season.

Add in a latissimus strain of his throwing shoulder, and Prescott had the fight he needed to get ready for Week 1. He’s still available for every offensive photo this season. He has completed 73.1% of pass attempts for 1,813 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions, while leading Dallas to a three-game lead in the NFC East.

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So a wild win followed by a slight loss of injury?

“I was just like, ‘No way,'” Prescott said. “Life keeps throwing punches and I will keep throwing them back. This is part of the art of the game. It is a physical game that we play. But I’ll be fine. In myself, on the medical team and as I said: I feel great.

“I thought we haven’t been playing for a week, so I want to give you guys something to talk about and speculate. So there you go.”

Follow USA Today Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @Jori Epstein.

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