DALLAS - The Dallas Cowboys will be taking the field soon with the NFL Hall of Fame Game about a week away and the regular season inching closer. While quarterback Dak Prescott's status for the clash against the Pittsburgh Steelers is yet undecided, the plan for him is to play in preseason games at some point.
Despite suffering a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle last October, early indications at training camp are that Prescott is picking up right where he left off during his early-season, record-setting pace in 2020 ... a dangerous thought for opposing defenses.
Before his season-ending injury in Game 5, Prescott was completing a career-best 68 percent of his passes and was on pace for a franchise-record 6,000-plus passing yards. That total would have blown past the 4,100 yards total that sports books set for him. However, because of the injury, Prescott totaled only 1,856 passing yards and earned a "bad beat" for his backers.
Prescott's passing yardage total for this season is 4,825 at FanDuel, a big jump from 2020. Part of the increase is obviously due to the addition of the 17th regular season game. But it's also because of the high expectations for Dallas' offense, which boasts a trio of fantastic receivers, a healthy offensive line and a "never-better" running back in Ezekiel Elliott. Only one player has a higher over/under than Prescott: Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Prescott's priority this season is clear.
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"First and foremost, (to be) the best offense in the NFL,'' Prescott said during the first week of training camp in Oxnard. "Stats; scoring; whatever; we want to be the best offense in the NFL."
From bad beat to a betting lock? Maybe. Prescott's best statistical season came in 2019 when he threw for 4,902 yards on 596 attempts. A 5,000-yard season isn't out of the question for Prescott, whose ankle health does not seem to be an issue.
"He looks no different today than my experience with him in live training camp action last year," Coach Mike McCarthy said in Oxnard. "That's the consistent comparable I think for everybody that's been involved with his rehab... I watched him closely in the team work live (Thursday) by design. He didn't flinch. It looked like he never left. So that's a good point."
Prescott keeps saying he wants to "bury'' the memories and the news of the injury, something he believes will happen further once he gets knocked around a bit by an opponent. A comeback season with over 4,825 passing yards would certainly be a statement, and for confident bettors, a money maker.