ARLINGTON, Texas -- As Dak Prescott jogged to the locker room after the Dallas Cowboys' 24-6 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, he whacked center Tyler Biadasz on the backside with his right hand and kept on moving.
"Thumb feels pretty good," the quarterback joked.
Playing for the first time in 42 days since undergoing surgery to repair a fractured right thumb, Prescott was not at his statistical best, throwing for 207 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown on 19-of-25 passing, but the Cowboys did not need him to be.
"A win's a win," Prescott said. "I really don't care how it gets done, a win's a win. I thought it was going to be pretty cool to leave this game without a touchdown, honestly. That's kind of where my head is right now. I know how talented this team is. I know what we can be. It's not about me. It's about all of us, and I'm just trying to make sure I play my part and make sure I put this team in the right situation each and every play."
Prescott's first pass attempt -- on a rollout to his left to Noah Brown -- was a little off target and fell incomplete. The Cowboys did not get a first down until their third drive, which ended in a field goal. On the fourth drive, Prescott forced a pass to CeeDee Lamb in double coverage.
"Some of those throws were just overconfidence in a sense," Prescott said. "Yeah, I've got to guard against that because sometimes those can lead to turnovers, and the last thing I'm trying to do is put this team in a bad position because I'm overconfident."
Prescott has thrown without limitations for only the past 10 days and went through just one full-padded practice ahead of Sunday's game. He wore kinesiology tape on his thumb for comfort and said after the game he didn't think about the thumb at all.
The Cowboys were aggressive in the passing game upon his return.
According to ESPN tracking, Prescott averaged 10.5 air yards per attempt, the highest average the Cowboys have had this season. He was a perfect 14-of-14 on passes of 10 or fewer air yards. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, he completed 4 of 7 passes into a tight window (1 or fewer yards of separation), which was the most completions by the Cowboys in a game this season.
Thanks to the running game (139 yards on 32 carries), Prescott went 11-of-12 for 121 yards and a touchdown off play-action.
"I thought Dak performed better as the game went on," coach Mike McCarthy said. "It's his first time he's been out there in quite some time. Start with the command of the huddle, the whole operation, I thought he was really on point there. He handled the adjustments that were going during the course of the game. Those are the big things that don't show up in the stat column."
As much as teammates praised Cooper Rush for guiding the Cowboys to a 4-1 record, they were happy to have Prescott back at the helm.
"From my aspect, he was back to normal," said tight end Dalton Schultz, who had five catches for 49 yards after recording just two receptions for 18 yards without Prescott. "It was nice having him back out there. I know everybody says it, but you can't underestimate the amount of leadership that guy has. The command he has in the huddle, it was just great to feel the normalcy back in our offense. Coop did a helluva job. But having Dak back is huge for us. It felt like it's back to normal."
Said Lamb, "And he's going to look even better next week."
The Cowboys host the Chicago Bears next week with a chance to get to 6-2 before their bye week. At 5-2, they are currently in third place in the NFC East behind the Philadelphia Eagles (6-0) and New York Giants (6-1).
Prescott is just glad to be back, with eyes on bigger days ahead.
"The sky's the limit. We're not going to put any limitations on what we can do," Prescott said.