FRISCO, Texas – Dak Prescott sounds right on track toward a return to the field this year.
In his first extensive public comments since a season-ending compound ankle fracture and dislocation last October against the Giants, Prescott says he's "close" to being 100% ready for football activities.
"I thought about jogging out here and jumping up on the stage, but I don't know if y'all are ready for that," Prescott said at Wednesday's press conference at The Star in Frisco announcing his new multi-year contract with the Cowboys.
"I'm healthy. I control what I can control, I followed the doctor's orders the whole time, put in my own work ethic to it. You saw me walking out here. I've been on that field back there (rehabbing). I'm healthy and I'm getting close."
Prescott didn't put an exact timetable on his expected return this year, but said, "I'll be ready when it matters and I'll be more healthy and better than I was before."
Prescott has been working diligently with the Cowboys' athletic training staff this offseason and said he's continuing to make noticeable strides in his rehab five months since the injury. He also addressed reports of an unrelated second surgery on the same right ankle in December -- two months after the initial procedure that repaired the fracture and dislocation – to further strengthen ligaments around the ankle.
"Obviously the first surgery with an open wound, you want to get that and eliminate any risk of infection," Prescott said. "We got a month or so down the road and said it would be best if we went in there and did do that (second surgery) now so as Mr. (Jerry) Jones said, 10 years, 15 years, I can be playing still and not have to deal with something bothering me. We might as well knock it out and get it straight now while I'm already missing time. That was obviously the thought behind that."
Since the injury, the Cowboys have remained confident that Prescott could be medically cleared as early as spring during the voluntary offseason program, though the program could be at least partially virtual again this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fellow NFL quarterback Alex Smith, the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year after returning from a gruesome leg injury, inspired Prescott during his own rehab. He also thanked his teammates, coaches, the organization and fans for their support immediately after the injury, when he was carted off in tears at AT&T Stadium, and during the months since.
"That's a feeling that I'll never be able to put into words to be in that hospital bed not knowing really what's going to happen, sitting there just coming out of surgery," Prescott said. "But getting all the support … I'm so thankful for that."