ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said he is expected to have surgery Monday on his right thumb after he was injured in the season-opening 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks and the injury will likely land him on injured reserve, according to multiple sources.
Prescott was injured in the fourth quarter when he hit the hand of outside linebacker Shaq Barrett while throwing a pass. Prescott will meet with the Cowboys' hand specialist Monday but, according to multiple sources, he will have a pin and plate inserted into the area to stabilize the joint.
Prescott said he initially thought he jammed a finger and didn't believe it was serious. But he went to the locker room for X-rays, which showed a fracture.
"I was told it was much cleaner than it could have been," Prescott said after the game while wearing a splint on his right hand.
"It's a significant injury," coach Mike McCarthy said.
The Cowboys will go with Cooper Rush as their starting quarterback beginning next week against the Cincinnati Bengals. Will Grier is the team's No. 3 quarterback and he's currently on the practice squad.
Rush won his first career start last year against the Minnesota Vikings when Prescott was out with a right calf strain. He completed 7 of 13 passes for 64 yards after taking over for Prescott against Tampa Bay. He threw for 325 yards and two touchdown passes in the 20-16 win against the Vikings.
"It's very disappointing, but injuries happen, can't necessarily control it, just unfortunate," Prescott said. "Obviously going to miss some time, not be there for my team and that's what hurts more than anything, especially after the start we just put out there. Wanted to be able to respond, and not necessarily having that opportunity for several weeks, yeah it's unfortunate. But I'll do what I've always done anytime adversity comes, take it on head-first and give my best and I'm sure I'll come out of this thing better."
Prescott, who is now 2-5 in season openers in his career, completed 14 of 29 passes for 134 yards, was intercepted once and sacked twice while the Cowboys were held without a touchdown in a season opener for the first time since 2001.
The last time the Cowboys scored fewer than six points in a season opener was Sept. 10, 1989, a 28-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints, which was the first game of Jones' tenure as owner and general manager and the debut of Troy Aikman and Jimmy Johnson.
The thumb injury capped a strange week for Prescott, who was limited in Thursday's practice because of a sore ankle that he blamed on a new pair of cleats. Prescott kept insisting he was fine and said it would not be an issue against the Buccaneers after going through full workouts Friday and Saturday.
Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in the fifth game of the 2020 season against the New York Giants. He returned to start 16 games last season, setting a Cowboys' single-season record with 37 touchdown passes. He missed one start with a calf strain.
On the opening drive Sunday, Prescott completed passes to four different receivers as the Cowboys moved 54 yards on 14 plays to take a 3-0 lead after a 51-yard field goal by Brett Maher. They went three-plus series before they would gain another first down -- on a 12-yard run by Prescott.
CeeDee Lamb caught one pass after the first drive but just one more from Prescott the rest of the way.
Prescott's 134 yards were the second fewest he has had in a game that he has started and finished in his career. He had 102 yards on 11-of-22 passing on Nov. 30, 2017, against Washington.
After starting 69 straight games from 2016 to 2020, Prescott has missed 12 games the past two seasons and is looking at missing seven more this season. The Cowboys have their bye Nov. 6 and play at the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 13.
"Obviously it's not what you want to hear, but it's not the worst thing that's happened to me," Prescott said. "Yeah, it's just another bump in the road and I'll keep moving forward. As I said I'll do everything that I can that I can control to get myself back to get myself better and help this team."