FRISCO - The word most people used when describing Dak Prescott’s 2020 injury is "gruesome.''
But the praise being given to the Dallas Cowboys' medical staff for its quick in-game reaction when the quarterback was hurt in Week 5 sounds something closer to "awesome'' - especially when NBC sports medicine analyst Mike Ryan, a former NFL head athletic trainer, makes a Tiger Woods comparison.
"One of the complicating factors is the time Tiger was in the car before being removed,'' Ryan tells NBC's Peter King, reflecting on last week's one-car crash involving the golf legend. "I remember watching the Dak Prescott injury last year, and within a minute of him going down, (Dallas head athletic trainer) Jim Maurer was on the field, putting sterile gauze over the bone open wound where Dak’s bone had protruded through the skin.
"We don’t know how long Tiger was in the car before being removed, and what if anything might have come into contact with his multiple open wounds.
"Infection is such a major factor in cases like this.''
The quick action by the Cowboys medical team (named 2021 Ed Block NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year) apparently prevented that. Furthermore, the surgical procedures and the rehab are so successful that sources now tell CowboysSI.com that Prescott could be "100 percent (healthy) by April'' and that he "should be fully involved in all offseason work.''
The prognosis for Woods is not as positive.
"Woods has compound multiple open fractures of both the upper shin and the lower shin, with the skin broken, plus foot and ankle fractures as well,'' Ryan said, adding that Woods being taken to an emergency room might not have offered him the same benefits that Prescott had in "an orchestrated situation with head athletic trainers, team doctors and agents hand-selecting an elite sports physician.''
Said Ryan of Woods' future: "This will be a long and painful rehab. This is a challenge of a magnitude Tiger has never had to face. (A return to) pro golf, in a competitive manner? I’d say no.''