OXNARD, Calif. - Dak Prescott, coming off that gruesome ankle injury last season, has one training camp practice under his belt.
Next, he wants one preseason game to his credit as well.
"I definitely want to play,'' Prescott said on Friday, one day after participating fully in Thursday's opening-day camp workout here in Oxnard. "As far as giving you a number or quantity of how much I need to, I just want to obviously get back out there and get some reps before it's real.''
"Rest vs. Rust'' is the issue, of course - or, in the case of Prescott, and in the minds of some, it's about "Risk vs. Rust.'' But the Cowboys believe the rehabbed QB is well beyond the "risk'' issue being any different for the MVP candidate than it is for any other star player.
And therefore ...
"I anticipate Dak playing in the preseason,'' coach Mike McCarthy said.
Prescott's practice work in training camp and before that in minicamp and OTAs, all despite coming off the compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle he suffered last October, went well. Dak 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.
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The Cowboys are short-handed on defense and are 3.5-point underdogs in the game, which is set to kick off at 3:25 p.m. CT from L.A.’s SoFi Stadium.
"Just to have a live defense coming at me,'' Dak said, "hopefully not take too many licks because I have great protection, but that's part of the game, and I think it would obviously be great to get up from that, wipe it off and be just another process of burying the injury.
"I think it will be huge."
It's unknown if McCarthy and the Cowboys will unveil Dak and allow him to play in the Hall of Fame Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Aug. 5. (Whispers to us have him sitting out Canton but debuting the next week at Arizona.) Of course, the NFL - TV ratings and whatnot - prefer there be no such early announcement. So McCarthy declined to speculate on whether Prescott would play against the Steelers.
"Come on,'' the coach joked, "I can't give you everything.''
But Dak Prescott is ready to give everything - in a preseason game coming to you soon.