OXNARD, Calif. – Dak Prescott's back to throwing some in practice.
When might he throw in a preseason game?
The starting quarterback is not expected to play Friday at Arizona because he's been limited in practice since July 28 with a strained shoulder muscle. The next chance would be a week from Saturday, Aug. 21, against Houston at AT&T Stadium.
"I'd say it's not out of the question," Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones said. "The question's going to become, when we get there, do we do it or not? It's just, we've got to make good, sound, solid decisions for Dak as we go here. But I wouldn't rule it out."
Prescott's shoulder strain is clearly improving based on his incremental increase in throwing reps this week – not full team drills yet, but some individual throws to receivers. The Cowboys have remained optimistic that he'll be ready for some limited preseason work in preparation for the Sept. 9 season opener at Tampa Bay.
Even if Prescott doesn't play before Week 1, though, Jones isn't concerned about any rust from missing the final 11 games of last season with a serious ankle injury.
"I know people worry about that, but I think that's overrated," Jones said. "I mean, Dak Prescott knows how to play the game of football. And whether he plays a series or two in Houston isn't going to affect how he plays in the opener against Tampa."
Jones repeated the Cowboys' stance in Oxnard that they'll be very cautious with Prescott's workload to ensure he's ready for the start of the regular season.
"I totally get some people having question marks when we're being as conservative as we are with Dak. But as you can see with Dak in "Hard Knocks," you've got to the protect the guy from himself," Jones said. "I mean, this guy is a working machine and he wants to be out there. He's driven. He wants to lead this team, he wants to be out there on the field, doing everything, but we've got to manage it.
"We're going to be very conservative. As you can see, he's going to be fine. It's just managing this situation the right way."