NFL

Preseason games 'not the priority' as Cowboys prepare Prescott for Week 1

By Sports Desk August 16, 2021

The Dallas Cowboys do not believe Dak Prescott needs to play in preseason games to be ready for Week 1. 

That was the message conveyed by head coach Mike McCarthy on Monday as he said the team would maintain a cautious approach with their quarterback as he returns from a shoulder strain. 

Prescott returned to full team drills Monday for the first time since injuring his shoulder in practice on July 28, but it does not sound like he will play in Saturday's preseason game against the Houston Texans. 

“We’ll see how the week goes, but there’s no urgency from my perspective to see Dak play against Houston," McCarthy told reporters. "This is more about we don’t want to create a setback possibly.

"His volume of throwing leading up to that point, I mean, he was probably in midseason form from the amount of work he put in over the summer, coming out of the OTAs. ...

“I think we’d all like [to see him in a game] that but that’s not the priority. I think his volume throwing, getting the capacity back to where he was is the number one thing."

McCarthy added that if Prescott does not play Saturday, he also will not feature in the August 29 preseason finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars because the focus in that game will be on players competing to win roster spots.

Prescott's 2020 season ended in Week 5 with a fracture-dislocation of his right ankle, so it will be quite a gap between facing game-speed defenders if he does not play until the September 9 opener at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Despite the layoff, McCarthy said keeping Prescott in controlled practice conditions is more valuable to the team than having him face an opponent when the games do not count. 

"We just really don’t want to put him in a position where he can reinjure it," McCarthy said. "We’ll continue to work on that plane."

Prescott is entering his sixth season as the Cowboys' quarterback. In 2019, his last full campaign, his career-best 4,902 passing yards were second in the NFL to Jameis Winston (5,109), and his 30 touchdown passes ranked fourth in the league. 

In his absence, the Cowboys have managed just one touchdown in two preseason games, both losses. 

 

Related items

  • Colts rally to send 49ers to fourth straight defeat Colts rally to send 49ers to fourth straight defeat

    Carson Wentz and the Indianapolis Colts shook off a slow start to win for the third time in four games, defeating the slumping San Francisco 49ers 30-18 on Sunday. 

    After turning the ball over on two of their first three possessions, the Colts (3-4) steadied themselves and prevailed in wet, miserable conditions at Levi's Stadium in Week 7 of the NFL season.

    The weather made things difficult on both teams, as both starting quarterbacks finished with fewer than 200 passing yards. 

    While Jimmy Garoppolo outgained Wentz 181 to 150 through the air, he could not make the plays when the 49ers (2-4) needed them in his return from a calf injury. 

    After hitting Deebo Samuel for a 14-yard touchdown that cut the Colts' lead to 20-18 early in the fourth quarter, Garoppolo threw interceptions the next two times San Francisco had the ball to seal a fourth straight defeat. 

    Wentz ran for a touchdown and threw for two more, icing the game with a 28-yard lob to Michael Pittman with just under three minutes to play. 

    Both teams' featured running backs for the night, Jonathan Taylor of Indianapolis and Elijah Mitchell for San Francisco, carried the ball 18 times for 107 yards and a touchdown. 

     

  • Murray, Cardinals still seeking improvement amid unbeaten start Murray, Cardinals still seeking improvement amid unbeaten start

    It says a lot about how far the flawless Arizona Cardinals have come that they found plenty to critique even after a 31-5 victory over the Houston Texans.

    At 7-0 after routing the Texans on Sunday, the Cardinals are the NFL's lone unbeaten team and are off to their best start since 1974. 

    For a team that have not won more than eight games in a season since their last trip to the playoffs in 2015, the Cardinals are brimming with confidence heading into a Thursday game against the 6-1 Green Bay Packers.

    While quarterback Kyler Murray said he "wasn't too concerned" when the Cardinals came up empty on their first three offensive possessions – which included Arizona star being caught in the end zone for a safety – he noted they cannot make a habit of it. 

    "I don't know why, maybe came out a little lax," Murray told a news conference. "I just know we've got to be better, because you get beat if you come out too slow. Sometimes you may not be able to catch up.

    "So for us, I know we're better than what we put out there today. We kind of clicked, for the most part, during the middle of game but [Houston] got after us today. I don't want to take anything away from them. Obviously we won by large lead but for the most part offensively, I think, we can be a lot better."

    Murray followed up that safety by leading a 14-play touchdown drive that got the Cardinals on the scoreboard and they did not look back from there, leading 17-5 at the half before tacking on two more TDs after the interval. 

    Arizona's slow start may also have been attributable to head coach Kliff Kingsbury's return to the sidelines after missing the previous game against the Cleveland Browns following a positive COVID-19 test. 

    While the Cardinals had no trouble in that 37-14 blowout, Kingsbury said it took him a while to find his rhythm against the Texans after missing the entire week of practice before he was cleared to coach in the game on Sunday. 

    "I felt a little disconnected," he said. "I didn't feel as into the game as I usually am, just showing up on game day, but the players are awesome, great energy and made me feel very welcome to be back."

    Murray said he did not pick up on his coach's discomfort but noted that it did not seem to be detrimental. 

    "I'm sure he probably felt a little bit off, but we put up 31 today, defence played great," Murray said. "It was a great team win so for him to feel awkward or whatever and then we still put up 31 is a good job and you know we've got to keep it going because the Packers are coming in as a great team."

    In his first game with the Cardinals after being acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles, Zach Ertz caught a 47-yard touchdown from Murray – his longest TD of his career.

    Ertz also became the first player in NFL history with a receiving touchdown in consecutive weeks for two different teams.

  • Brady grateful for support after Bucs superstar makes more NFL history Brady grateful for support after Bucs superstar makes more NFL history

    Tom Brady expressed his gratitude after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar celebrated another milestone in the Super Bowl champions' crushing win over the Chicago Bears.

    Brady became the first player in NFL history to throw 600 touchdown passes as the Buccaneers routed the Bears 38-3 on Sunday.

    The record seven-time Super Bowl champion finished the game with 602 TD passes, having completed 20 of his 36 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns.

    Brady also tied Drew Brees for the most games with at least four touchdown passes after reaching 37.

    "I just think of all the guys that are sharing it with me," Brady told reporters as the Buccaneers reached 6-1 – their best start in franchise history. "That's the reality. There's nothing about this sport that you do by yourself.

    "It's the ultimate team sport. It challenges you physically, mentally, emotionally, every week, every day at practice – this is not a sport you can just mail it in.

    "It takes 100 per cent of what you have every single day to be successful and I'm just grateful to have amazing team-mates, coaches, to be able to do it for as long as I have is a really incredible blessing in my life.

    "I have great family. I've got my little baby girl, who's the biggest cheerleader in the world and her two brothers, who are great cheerleaders and mom who was out there today rooting ... great to have the family here and to win a football game feels really good."

    Having moved to 599 TD passes on a four-yard toss to Bucs team-mate Chris Godwin, Brady connected with Mike Evans for a nine-yard score, although the latter was clearly unaware of the historical significance of the play.

    Evans gave the ball to a fan in the crowd, leading to a member of Tampa's equipment staff negotiating with the spectator to ensure its return, with the ball likely headed to the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

    "That was really cool," Brady told reporters. "I got it in the bag over there. Mike gave it away. He goes, 'Man, I'm sorry, man. I'll get it.' I said, 'It's alright. I'm sure they'll find a way to get it back.'

    "But I don't actually keep too many things so ... in that circumstance, I just felt like that might be a good one to keep."

    "[The fan is] gonna get something nice in return. So we'll get him a helmet or a couple jerseys or some other stuff. That was really cool of him to do that."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.