Cowboys Football

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) hugs teammate safety Jayron Kearse (32) after Kearse intercepted a pass during practice Wednesday in Frisco.

FRISCO — Dak Prescott isn’t close to putting an epitaph on his Cowboys career.

But there’s one line of questioning he wouldn’t mind bringing to an end.

“I’ve buried the injury,” Prescott declared Wednesday. “I’ve buried it mentally. And I think you guys [media] and a lot of people around have to help me and bury it as well as we move forward.

“Put that right on the tombstone.”

It’s a little early to chisel R.I.P. in granite. Prescott is only eight months removed from an ankle that not only suffered a compound fracture, but a dislocation. He has yet to play in a game and has been held out of 11-on-11 drills to this point to avoid having a teammate inadvertently fall into him.

That doesn’t mean he hasn’t looked sharp. Prescott is moving well and has good velocity on his throws. Mini-camp is scheduled to conclude Thursday, and he’s noticed a difference from how he moved and felt just one month ago.

“I’m sure you guys [media] see the scramble drill that we’ve done a few times,” Prescott said. “That was a big one for my confidence, just being able to pivot and turn out left, get out to the right, change directions, not feeling anything and then look at the tape and realize day by day that I’m running smoother.

“I’m getting better. I’m using my legs more when I throw. Those are just all building blocks and stepping stones for me to get where I want to be.

“It’s just exciting.”

And not just for him.

Coaches and teammates marvel at how good their quarterback looks coming off that gruesome injury. This offseason hasn’t been just about Prescott fighting his way back and trusting his mind and body.

It’s been about the confidence he instills in his teammates heading into next month’s training camp. Mike McCarthy said Prescott is right where he needs to be physically and shouldn’t be restricted when camp starts in six weeks.

“We’re not naive,” the Cowboys head coach said. “It’s just like any player that comes back from injury, especially a major joint injury. The first year back, there’s going to be some things you have to work through. But I would anticipate we’d start with him in full mode.”

Ask Prescott to recount the timeline he took to get back to this point? He can’t. He remembers his foot being out of a boot for a week or so before undergoing a second surgery in December not related to the original injury.

At that point, he adopted a defiant stance heading into a new calendar year: To hell with the time.

“I wasn’t counting months,” Prescott said. “I think it was just the other day that I actually had to count on my fingers the time since I’ve been hurt.

“One of my goals and missions when I first got hurt is I said I’m not going to try to beat anybody’s timeline. I’m going to just go out here and work day by day and just try to get myself better.”

And now? Prescott said he couldn’t ask for anything more coming off this injury. He doesn’t feel the mental or physical weight of the injury. He said it no longer crosses his mind before or during practice.

There’s no soreness or residual swelling after practice.

“When you go back and look on film from the first day to the last day of me scrambling, you can visibly tell that I’m running better,” Prescott said of what it was like during that first organized team activity in May. “That’s the good part of it.

“But in rehab before this, I was doing all kinds of cuts, jumps and things like that that will happen in the scramble drill. So never within the drill did I ever think about my leg or did I ever think that this was part of the rehab rather than pushing myself, and I blocked that mentally.’’

Prescott turned the rehabilitation corner on Cinco de Mayo. Did he come to this conclusion after a pitcher of margaritas or a Mambo Taxi? Maybe an impromptu salsa dance?

“No,” he said. “No dancing.

“I really just had a good Cinco de Mayo. That was the time that I said in my head, ‘The injury’s gone.’”

The weeks leading up to training camp won’t be like they’ve been in past years for Prescott. He’ll take a breather but must still maintain his rehab routine. He’ll spend more days at The Star than usual and may go to California early.

“My plans when I head into camp,” Prescott said, “are to be better than I was before I broke my ankle.”

That will be the next step in burying the injury.

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