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Cowboys news: Dallas captures first place in the NFC East, but at a huge cost

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New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Through prayers, heartfelt messages and scripture, Cowboys try to process Dak Prescott’s devestating injury - Michael Gehlken, Dallas Morning News

Getting through the Dak Prescott injury won’t be an easy pursuit.

A number of players reached out to Prescott after the game upon returning to the locker room and regaining access to their cell phones. Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, a rookie first-round pick, said he sent Prescott a text message soon after showering.

Lamb was asked what his message was.

“That I appreciate everything he has done for me as far as being a rookie receiver and learning, you know, the offense.” Lamb said. “He has put in countless [amounts] of time and effort just to helping me get comfortable in this offense, and I can’t thank him enough. …

“We know what is at stake, and I told him we are going to hold it down till we get to see him again on the field with us.”

Explaining Cowboys QB Dak Prescott’s compound fracture and ankle dislocation - Ellen J. Harrow, USA Today

Here is what actually happened on Dak’s injury - from a medical standpoint.

The ankle joint, according to the Hospital for Special Surgery website, is composed of the tibia, fibula and talus bones. The talus (or “ankle bone”) connects your leg to your foot. In Prescott’s case, we do not know what specific bone was fractured or if there were more than one.

There could also be ligament damage associated with the fracture since ligaments connect bone to bone to provide stability of the joints. Soft tissue may have also been damaged, depending on the severity of the fracture and dislocation.

Doctors think of the ankle as having three sides and a “roof,” and fractures can occur in each of these areas or in combination. The lower portion of the tibia forms the roof and medial (inside) of the ankle, while the lower portion of the fibula forms the lateral (outside) and posterior (back) of the ankle. A compound fracture almost always requires reduction, a process where the bones are manipulated back into place and set so the ankle and leg can heal correctly, according to the Hospital for Special Surgery. The goal is to have the bones heal as closely to perfect as possible to prevent any residual instability or malalignment of the bone.

If the fracture is serious enough and future mobility could be cause for concern, pins, screws, rods or plates could also be inserted to maintain proper positions of bone and provide stability.

Cowboys 2020 Season Won’t Survive Dak Injury Unless McCarthy Moves Focus to Zeke - Gary Davenport, Bleacher Report

Ezekiel Elliot must now be the team’s focal point.

Ride Ezekiel Elliott all game every game. Give the 25-year-old 25 carries (or more) a game. Use the run to control the clock and keep Dalton in favorable down-and-distance situations. Go full-on old-school ground-and-pound.

Even that may not work for one prevailing reason. Prescott wasn’t throwing the ball umpteen times a game because he has himself in fantasy. He was doing it because the Dallas defense is hot garbage. Heading into Week 5, the Giants had scored 47 points for the season.

Former Bengals QB Andy Dalton leads Cowboys to win vs. Giants - Jason Marcum, Cincy Jungle

The Red Rifle was a bright spot on a solemn day.

Dalton, a Texas native, was set to spend 2020 on the bench as put up absurd numbers in Dallas’ loaded offense. But this is the NFL, and if there’s one sure thing about this league, it’s that there’s no such thing as a sure thing.

In the third quarter of today’s game vs. the Giants, Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocated ankle, ending his 2020 season after just five weeks.

Enter The Red Rifle.

With Prescott out, Dalton entered the game and would ultimately lead Dallas on a game-winning drive in the final minutes to give the Cowboys a 37-34 win. The final drive saw Dalton at his best, as he made several big-time throws to put his team in near-chip shot range for a game-winning field goal.

‘I’ve stayed ready.’ Dallas Cowboys QB Andy Dalton confident filling in for Dak Prescott - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star Telegram

Andy Dalton was primed for the moment.

It was the 25th game-winning drive of Dalton’s career, and his first with the Cowboys.

“You never want anything to happen, but you gotta stay ready,” Dalton said. “That’s what I’ve done, I’ve stayed ready. You want to have the opportunity to play. I knew the situation I was in. Just trying to do my best to support Dak ... I feel like I was preparing for these moments.”

It was just the second appearance by Dalton for the Cowboys this season. He played two snaps in the Atlanta Falcons game as Prescott was evaluated for a potential concussion.

Jerry Jones Releases Statement On Dak Prescott - David Helman, DallasCowboys.com

Read what the team’s owner had to say.

“We are all heartbroken for Dak and this very disappointing injury. The outpouring of messages that I have received regarding his setback speaks volumes to the respect and admiration that he has earned from his teammates, former Cowboys players and Cowboys supporters everywhere.

I know this young man very well.

I know the personal hardship and strife that he has faced, dealt with and overcome in his young life.

And I know of no one who is more prepared, from the perspective of mental and emotional toughness and determination, than Dak Prescott to respond and recover from this challenge that has been put in front of him.

He is an inspiration to everyone he touches. He has all of our love and support.

And we have no doubt that he will return to the position of leadership and purpose that he brings to our team.”

Dak Prescott of Dallas Cowboys out of surgery for compound fracture, dislocation of right ankle - Todd Archer, ESPN

A run through of the moment itself, plus more quotes and thoughts from those involved.

“First and foremost, the worst thing that happened today was the Dak injury, it’s bigger than football,” Ryan said. “I feel terrible, it was a routine football play. ... You’ve got a guy, and I am in a similar position, he is scratching and clawing at one year on his deal to try and get rewarded, try to do the right thing, try to show up to work, try to lead his team, try to get a lucrative contract. He had to come out and prove it this year, so for him to get this type of injury, that’s why I feel like Dak — I hope he gets $500 million when he comes back. He deserves it. He is a hell of a quarterback.”

“I just feel terrible for him,” McCarthy said. “He was having a tremendous year. In my short time working with him, he’s made such an impression on me, and he’s clearly the leader of this football team. I have no doubt that he’ll bounce back from this and this will be all part of his great story. This will just be another chapter in a great story. He’s a fine young man and an outstanding quarterback.”

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