FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys' 2021 season ended 17 days ago, but quarterback Dak Prescott – still disappointed over the team's playoff loss – has his eyes toward the 2022 season.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday while filming a 7-Eleven commercial with Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and FOX Sports' Erin Andrews, Prescott discussed a variety of Cowboys-related topics in his first interview since the playoff loss to the 49ers:
- Prescott, an NFC Pro Bowl alternate, explained why he declined a third career trip to the annual all-star game. "Just didn't want to take any more, I guess you could say hits, or just wear on the body. I wanted to turn the page and get ready to start next season," he said. Makes sense, given that 2021 required a lot of physical maintenance for Prescott. He spent all last offseason recovering from a serious ankle injury, then sat out all preseason with a strained shoulder muscle, then missed one game in late October with a calf strain. Prescott said he's healthy entering the offseason, though.
- With veterans Zack Martin and Tyron Smith also declining to play in the Pro Bowl, the four players who will represent the Cowboys on Sunday are all first-time Pro Bowlers: rookie linebacker Micah Parsons, cornerback Trevon Diggs, punter Bryan Anger and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. Prescott explained why the Pro Bowl experience can benefit young players. "I definitely think I could make them better," he said. "It just solidifies probably what they think of themselves. To go to a Pro Bowl, to be around other greats, it can help just by picking their minds and getting to know how other great players in this league get ready for a game or prepare or take care of their body afterwards. Those guys you named and the Pro Bowlers that we have, they'll be going a long time."
- This time last year, Prescott was still in a boot recovering from ankle surgery. Healthy this year, he's looking forward to a normal offseason focusing on actual football activities. "Just having a full offseason to be able to go through my training and not worrying about just getting my leg healthy, but all my quarterback drills and everything that I do in a normal healthy offseason," he said.
- That said, Prescott admits that the wild-card loss to San Francisco still stings. "I don't know if it's gone yet. I don't know if ever will, honestly," he said. "I think there's probably some games, some moments in an athlete's career that just stick with them forever, and I'm sure that will be one of them."