ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 21: Quarterback Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on from the sidelines as the Dallas Cowboys take on the Houston Texans in the first quarter of a preseason NFL game at AT&T Stadium on August 21, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Cowboys fans might want to see Dak Prescott play in the preseason, but Dallas is doing the right thing by keeping him away from live action.
Getting Dak Prescott back to full health before Week 1 is the Cowboys’ top preseason priority. In other words, Dallas fans shouldn’t be disappointed with the news that their starting signal-caller isn’t going to take a single preseason snap.
The good news is that Prescott is set to resume “competitive throwing” during Wednesday’s practice. Getting hit isn’t going to do anything to help him get ready for the grind of the upcoming regular season. Spending quality time with his wideouts developing chemistry and timing can help his team hit the ground running with the opener arrives.
Ultimately, Mike McCarthy and his staff deserve credit for how they’re handling the face of the franchise. Prescott has made zero secret of his desire to get back onto the field with his teammates as soon as possible.
That’s an admirable attitude for a player to take, but it’s the job of the coaching staff and front office to put the team’s best interest in front of any single player. That means Prescott needs to stay on the sideline for the long-term benefit of the franchise.
When should Prescott see live action?Prescott should only join his teammates on the field when the games actually count. There’s a cogent argument to be made that no Pro Bowl quarterback should ever waste their time by playing preseason football. Don’t be surprised if more teams gravitate towards that line of thinking in the coming years.
The recent addition of a 17th game to the regular season only puts more strain on quarterbacks to stay healthy for a full season. Even if Prescott wasn’t coming off an injury that stopped his 2020 season prematurely, the spectre of a 17th game might have been enough to convince Cowboys officials to keep him on ice during the preseason.
Cowboys fans need to get comfortable with the idea that their highest-paid superstar isn’t going to be risked on a game with no consequences. Prescott’s days of playing preseason football should be permanently behind him.