FRISCO, Texas - Dak Prescott's return from a dislocated and compound fracture of his right ankle has crossed another threshold with the Dallas Cowboys quarterback participating in the first two organized team activities the last two days.
"It felt great," Prescott said. "After long months of recovery and just rehab, the main goal is to just getting back out there with my teammates, getting back on the field, running a huddle, building that camaraderie on the field. It's just exciting yesterday and carrying over today, but so much we can build with the team and me personally. I'm just excited to know the game is back and I'm able to be a part of it."
Prescott went through everything except the full 11-on-11 drills and the end-of-practice walkthrough Tuesday. The Cowboys are off on Wednesday and return for their third OTA on Thursday. They will go through three OTAs next week, followed by their mandatory minicamp that will run June 8-10.
Coach Mike McCarthy said Prescott will likely follow a similar protocol through the rest of the offseason program and not be held back when the Cowboys open training camp in July.
"I wouldn't say I'm necessarily limited," Prescott said. "I think we're just being cautious and being smart in the fact of I'm not doing things when there's a pass rush or guys potentially falling at the legs or something of that nature. But as far as saying I can't do drills or I can't do something, I'm pretty much full go."
Prescott suffered the injury in the Week 5 win against the New York Giants. He had surgery to repair the ankle that night and had a second surgery a few months later on that ankle that was unrelated to the initial injury. He has spent almost all of his offseason rehabbing and training at The Star.
"He's put a ton of work into this," McCarthy said. "I'd say he's ahead of schedule."
About the only change in Prescott's routine was a more involved warmup prior to the start of practice, which is something he anticipates continuing throughout the season.
"Get my legs going, rest of my body going," Prescott said. "I like to break a sweat and do that just so my mind's off of it and I'm not working out or dropping back on a cold ankle. After the fact not necessarily. With the rehab process there are still things I have to do so it's not causing residual effect or nagging pain. For the most part it's just following the trainers and doing everything they ask me to do. It felt good from Day 1 to Day 2 so right now I think it's just building up that endurance and able to make sure if we're going again tomorrow I can do that and go five, six, seven days straight if I needed to."
McCarthy said Prescott's rehab has the quarterback to the point where the coach is worried about bad habits forming because Prescott needs to compensate for the injury.
"If you have been out on the field the past couple of months, you would have seen the work and the rehab was very detailed and very similar to the same footwork drills we would do in quarterback school," McCarthy said. "He's been really at this for quite some time now."
Teammates have seen Prescott's rehab and some on-field work earlier in the offseason, but his return to the huddle helped the offensive players gain confidence, according to tight end Dalton Schultz.
"Everybody in the locker room loves Dak," Schultz said. "He's a leader. He's a fierce competitor and he's the leader of the offense for sure, so seeing him get back in action and getting right back to where he left off has been awesome."
Prescott said he felt closer to normal about a month ago, "When I started jumping on this leg, landing on this leg alone, cutting off this leg and doing a lot of things I'd naturally do in a game and doing them in a reactive form, not necessarily calculated," he said.
Two weeks ago Schultz was catching passes from Prescott as the quarterback worked out with his personal coach.
"I'd say the ball is in my hands the same exact way (from before the injury)," Schultz said, "So I'm excited to see how he continues to progress."