FRISCO, Texas – Across the NFL landscape, the speculation about Tony Romo's recovery will be ongoing for the foreseeable future.
But with the start of their regular season just two weeks away, the Cowboys will shift their attention to the next man up – in this case, Dak Prescott.
That's not a new storyline for this team. Originally drafted to be a developmental rookie, Prescott moved into the backup role after Kellen Moore broke his leg four weeks ago. Over the course of three preseason games, he has responded well at nearly every turn.
"He's really handled himself well in any situation we've put him in," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "When Kellen Moore went down, Dak got more reps. Again, on the practice field, he handled it very well, and he handled it well in game situations."
There isn't a timetable for Romo's recovery as it stands right now, but it seems like a reasonable guess that he won't available for at least the first few games of the season. Faced with that reality, it sounds like the Cowboys are prepared to go forward with their rookie in his place.
"We feel good about Dak," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told reporters. "I think our team feels good about Dak. The chemistry is there with the players."
That seemed incredibly unlikely just a few short weeks ago, but it has played out in storybook fashion so far. Through three preseason games, Prescott is completing 78 percent of his passes for an average of 151 yards per game. He has thrown five total touchdowns and rushed for another two.
"He's been in different situations each of the last three preseason games," Garrett said. "He goes in there and he plays with poise and composure and does a good job executing his job and moving the team and helping us score points.
Prescott just might have put together his best performance to date when Romo got hurt in Seattle. The 36-year-old starter went down just two minutes into the game, and Prescott responded by leading two scoring drives against the Seahawks' starting defense.
"I thought he did a particularly good job in this game against Seattle, because he certainly didn't anticipate going in on the fourth play of the game," Garrett said.
Prescott said it didn't any different coming off the bench, because he prepares for every opportunity as if he's going to start. If that's the case, he'll have no problem focusing on the task at hand – preparing for the start of the season as the Cowboys' starter.
Behind him, Jameill Showers can expect to get plenty of playing time in the preseason finale with Prescott serving as the defacto starter. In the meantime, the Cowboys will consider the possibility of adding a veteran backup in the coming days, after they've further evaluated Romo's status.
"We'll certainly look at what his status is over the next few days," Garrett said. "Right now we're carrying three quarterbacks, so if Tony is not able to function we certainly would look into that."