FRISCO, Texas -- For the first time since July 27, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott took team drills during a practice, a significant step as he continues his return from a latissimus strain in his right shoulder.
Prescott completed 11 of 12 passes in his 18 snaps of 11-on-11 work Wednesday, and he showed no rust or limit on his ability to get the ball down the field.
The Cowboys open the season Sept. 9 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the team had no doubt he would be ready for that game, Dallas wants to get Prescott as much work as possible in practice.
"Dak looks really good, man," running back Ezekiel Elliott said after practice. "He's throwing the ball with some pop. He looks good, looks like he's progressing."
Prescott completed a pass of 20 to 25 yards to tight end Blake Jarwin down the sideline over a linebacker and followed that up with a bullet to Aaron Parker on a crossing route. His only incompletion was a pass broken up by safety Jayron Kearse. He also showed the ability to make a play on the run, stepping up in the pocket and finding tight end Dalton Schultz for a decent gain.
Prescott pulled himself from practice in Oxnard, California, on July 28 when he felt soreness on his follow-through. The Cowboys shut him down for two weeks, although he continued to go through his conditioning and strength work for his surgically repaired right ankle.
The Cowboys consulted with the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees about the injury because it is more common in pitchers than in quarterbacks. Upon arriving back in Texas, he had a second MRI that showed the strain is healing.
The Cowboys slowly worked Prescott back up in practice. He threw a little more than 50 passes in pregame warm-ups before the Aug. 21 preseason game against the Houston Texans, which was his second straight day of heavier throwing.
"I'm sure he'd rather not have to take those steps and just be out there and get in a whole camp," Elliott said. "But, I mean, he's a grinder. He's a true pro [with] just the amount of work he puts in just to get to where he was off the ankle and back off this strained muscle. It's a true testament to the leader and player he is, and excited to get him back."
Coach Mike McCarthy already said Prescott would not play in the preseason finale Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. After Wednesday's practice, Prescott and McCarthy had a long discussion, potentially going over the plan for the next few days and leading into the Buccaneers game.
McCarthy said that Prescott had been lobbying to do more.
"He's a competitor," McCarthy said before the practice. "He brings that competitiveness and expertise to knowing the quarterback position. He makes the whole practice better because of the way he approaches it. Just his warm-up before practice is gamelike. He treats it the way you'd love to see all your players treat it. He's definitely one of the examples you use for the young players."