Week one of the 2022 season didn't go as planned for the Dallas Cowboys. Head coach Mike McCarthy didn't know the extent of Dak Prescott's hand injury at the time, but it ultimately sidelined the starting playcaller for six weeks.
But just as he's done in the past, Prescott spent his time on the sidelines watching and waiting for his return behind center.
"As disappointing as it was, it was really, really fun and a great time for me to grow and to learn more about this team that honestly I hadn't been able to see from that perspective," said Prescott.
After six weeks of rehabbing his hand and reevaluating his thinking, the moment is finally here. Dak Prescott will start against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, and his teammates couldn't be more excited.
Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb said he looked "like Dak," while defense end Micah Parsons joked Prescott had it coming from the defense.
"He's for sure made some throws," said Lamb. "Big time throws, one-on-ones, team periods. He feels confident and overall, he's excited to be out there with us."
"Real competitors, they itch to get back on the field, and I think that's why his rehab was so intense," added Parsons. "I never saw him take a day off, so I know he's itching to get back there and I just can't wait to see his work pay off for him."
From a throwing perspective, it seems like Dak hasn't missed a beat, to which he credits sticking around his team during his injury, and staying grounded in what's gotten him this far.
"People don't make my chip grow. I'm completely internally motivated," said Prescott. "I've got too many things that I've been through in life. The last thing I care about is somebody else's opinion. If I cared about that at any point in my life, I doubt that I'd be here, I doubt I'd be doing the things I'm doing. I doubt I'd approach every day like I do."
Going into Sunday's game against Detroit, Prescott feels better than ever. After a strong week of practice, QB1 is ready to take the field.
"I'll say last week [versus Philadelphia] was the first time that during the game I felt like I had that real itch. I felt that in a sense I could do something, I could go out there and make a difference," said Prescott. "Obviously going into this week knowing that I felt that way last week – I'm right where I need to be."
As we say welcome back to Dak, we also say thank you to Cooper Rush, who led the Cowboys to a 4-2 overall record. While Cowboys Nation put their faith in Rush, he was grateful to do his part.
"To line up there at starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys on a Sunday in the NFL is pretty awesome. I definitely appreciate it," said Rush. "It is just ball when you're out there. I think when you sit on the sidelines for a while and watch these great players do it, you can kind of be like 'oh my gosh, can you do it, can you do it?' But you get out there and you're like, okay I know how to play football."
"Just knowing the way he prepares, the way that he goes through and approaches every day. How mentally tough he is and how mentally sharp he is, I knew he was going to go there and put our team in a position to do exactly what they did," added Prescott.
Prescott is undefeated against the Detroit Lions, with eight total touchdowns in three starts. The last time the two teams, he led the Cowboys to a 35-27 win, with three touchdown passes and 444 passing yards.