OXNARD, Calif. – The exact date Dak Prescott throws again in practice remains to be seen. It might be next week. Who knows, it might be after the Cowboys return home from Oxnard in mid-August.
But the Cowboys don't seem to have any long-term concerns about Prescott's strained shoulder muscle. Neither does the starting quarterback himself.
"We're being cautious," Prescott said from Oxnard in a halftime interview with FOX. "We're taking it day by day, obviously. It's five weeks before the season opener, so I've got a lot of time. And I'm going to use that time to get myself ready for that game."
The season opener is Sept. 9 against the Tampa Bay Bucs – exactly five weeks from Thursday's Hall of Fame preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Prescott was one of 16 Cowboys players who stayed back in Oxnard for injury reasons – either working back from an offseason injury or dealing with one in training camp. No sense in making the cross-country trip to Canton, Ohio if they weren't going to suit up against the Steelers.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday that Prescott hasn't experienced a setback since leaving practice early July 28 with tightness in his throwing shoulder, but the club plans to follow a "more conservative" timeline right now before Prescott progresses from non-throwing drills.
"After research and looking at it, we just don't want this to turn into something big," McCarthy said. "He's doing everything that he possibly can. But we're just being a little more conservative with the rehab.
"If it were in-season, I think it would be a different outlook. But because of where we are, having the extra week (of preseason), we just want to make sure this doesn't turn into something bigger."
The Cowboys are still hopeful Prescott can get some preseason snaps. The next chance would be next Friday, Aug. 13 at Arizona before the team returns home from the Oxnard portion of camp.