Questions loom over Dak Prescott's return

The Cowboys will not be putting quarterback Dak Prescott on injured reserve following a thumb injury sustained during Week 1's defeat to Tampa Bay, but a return timetable for the Dallas star remains unknown.

Video Transcript

VOCH LOMBARDI: What's up, y'all? It's Voch Lombardi. Watch every second of this NFL season when and where you want it only on "DAZN."

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You know the one weird thing about being a Cowboy fan is that the next morning, people want to text you and send you emails and ask you, are you OK, Voch? We send our condolences. There are flowers at my front door for Dak Prescott. We'll be all right. You know, football is football. We'll be fine. But Dak Prescott injured his hand in the thrashing that the Cowboys received versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We could go into a long drawn-out reason why the Cowboys looked so horrible versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but I'll just say a very short version for this show.

I think the Cowboys will be better moving forward. I don't think we're going to get that same performance out of them that we got last Sunday. But the bigger story is that Dak Prescott hurt his hand, and the initial report is that he would likely be out for eight or so weeks. So Cowboys were bracing for the idea that Dak Prescott was going to miss two months. And then Dak Prescott gets his surgery. And this morning, Jerry Jones comes on his radio station-- and which I don't believe a thing Jerry Jones has to say-- he's saying that it's going to be looking closer to four, and Dak Prescott will not be put on injury reserve.

Now, if Jerry Jones would have said it without the roster mechanic, then I probably wouldn't believe him. But the fact that we're not putting him on IR, that means that he's probably going to heal up a little better. I just don't want it to be a Tony Romo situation where he hurts his clavicle, he tries to heal this six-week injury in five weeks. He comes back in five and 1/2 weeks, and he hurts right-- just immediately right all over again, right? So we don't want that to happen to Dak Prescott. So I would rather just rest him until he's ready.

The problem with that is that if you look at the schedule-- well, first of all, look at how we played. I say "we" meaning Cowboys because I'm a Cowboy fan, right? You look at how the Cowboys played last week. You know, you would just think, hey, it's just time to pack everything up, sit Dak out for the season, and just go get a good draft pick and try again all over next year. But I don't think that's going to be the case.

I do think that the Cowboys can recover this season. But what you have to do between now and whenever it is that Dak Prescott comes back, you're not allowed to lose that many games. Now, if I take a look at the next few games, which are the Bengals, the Giants, the Washington Football Wizards-- I'm not going to call them Commanders because I'm a Cowboys fan-- Rams, Eagles, Lions, those are the next few games that the Cowboys have to play.

I feel good about a lot of those games. Some of those games, like Bengals, Rams, I don't think we're going to be beating those teams at all. But if you can just manage, right, if you can just not go un-undefeated-- what that means is, undefeated you don't lose a game. If you go un-undefeated, you don't win a game, right? If you don't go un-undefeated and just say you-- say you only lose three games, then Dak Prescott comes back. OK, cool, you got four total losses. You can try to run this table and let's hope for a wild card type of appearance. And, you know, once you get to the playoffs, all bets are off. Your record does not matter.

What I find most interesting is that in this next stretch of games, we have to play Washington, Giants, and we have to play the Eagles. Those are division opponents. Yes, they are division opponents that I think are very beatable. But they are division opponents that are trying their best to take this stranglehold that Dak Prescott has around their neck to try to get this division back.

If you look up the numbers, Dak Prescott owns this division. And when he's healthy, he typically beats those teams. But when he's not healthy, those dudes typically come back and try to get wins against us, right? So, you know, you definitely would want your quarterback's health the next few weeks to be as good as possible. So everybody's tapping Voch on the shoulder. Hey, Voch, should we go and get Jimmy Garoppolo? And I tell you, absolutely not because the only way to get Jimmy Garoppolo is you would have to give up draft talent or draft compensation, some picks. I'm not giving up draft picks for a rental, especially for a short, short rental.

And then I don't want the whole idea of quarterback competition when Dak gets back. Also, the Cowboys are not in the business of paying for people that they didn't draft. So that would count as Jimmy. So in my mind, we're going to roll out with backup quarterback Cooper Rush. We're going to hope for the best. We're going to try to feed CeeDee Lamb the ball and run it with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard and just hope that things are well when Dak Prescott gets back. Micah Parsons is on the other side playing defense, by the way. So I think that'll be a big help also. Do I think this is an effective strategy? Maybe not. But all I can do is pray to the football gods that it works.