FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys didn't wait long after returning home to Dallas to check on their starting quarterback and his right shoulder strain.
As expected, Dak Prescott received an MRI on Saturday and the results were favorable, showing what the team had hoped all along – their franchise quarterback is healing and remains on schedule to play the season opener against the Bucs on Sept. 9.
Now, could Prescott perhaps return to the field much sooner, as in this week's preseason game against Houston next Saturday? That remains to be seen but it doesn't seem off the table.
Just Friday on the Cowboys' pregame show before playing Arizona, Stephen Jones was asked about Dak's progress, just minutes after watching him throw the ball around on the field.
"He's coming along as usual, ahead of schedule," Jones said on the broadcast. "As you saw, he threw the ball well out in camp, he threw it well tonight with Amari. And he's right on target and of course our undisputed leader in the locker room. It's going to be great as he starts to work back in."
And that process could begin as early as this week. There has been a thought circulating through training camp that Prescott could see a series or two against Houston this week and then likely wouldn't play in the fourth preseason game vs. Jacksonville (8/29), getting himself fully ready for the opener in Tampa.
The thought behind playing him at all is just to get his timing back and the feel for the huddle, since he hasn't played a game since his ankle injury last October.
Meanwhile, in Dak's absence, the Cowboys have gotten an extended look at the backups. Garrett Gilbert played into the second quarter on Friday, followed by Cooper Rush, who saw action in the second and third quarters. Ben DiNucci finished the game and led the Cowboys to their first and only touchdown drive of the preseason so far.