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Adam Schefter on Dak Prescott: “He’s not fully back, he may not be back all season long.”

Plus a theory that Dak Prescott’s shoulder strain may be tied to his ankle injury.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are set to play in AT&T Stadium for the first time this year on Saturday when they host the Houston Texans in what is to be their dress rehearsal of this preseason period. One Cowboys player will not fully dress the way an actual game would mandate.

For about a month now (since July 28th to be exact) just about every story concerning the Cowboys has ultimately led back to Dak Prescott’s shoulder strain. The Cowboys have danced around the subject delicately (despite being on Hard Knocks) and moved the goalposts just a bit in terms of his projected return to total and full capacity.

At first Dak was going to only miss a few days, then he was going to be held out through the scrimmage against the Los Angeles Rams, after that he was determined not to be playing against the Arizona Cardinals last Friday night, and here we are three weeks later. Mike McCarthy hasn’t exactly been the most forthcoming-with-details coach since taking over the Cowboys last year, but idle hands and impatient fans have led to many wondering exactly when QB1 will be 100% back even though he has been throwing during practices to limited degrees.

Adam Schefter on Dak Prescott: He’s not fully back, he may not be back all season long.

Like everything in life this is a subject where everybody has an opinion. Some believe that Dak is absolutely fine and this is a story much about nothing, where others are convinced that the sky is falling and that he is going to miss time into the regular season.

What everyone thinks is ultimately moot, but that doesn’t stop the speculation, and we recently got an interesting tidbit from Adam Schefter on the subject. During Friday night’s game between the Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs the NFL’s top insider expressed as his own opinion that Prescott “may not be back all season long” in terms of being all the way back.

During halftime of Friday night’s Chiefs-Cardinals game on ESPN, Adam Schefter made a comment that felt initially like a throwaway line but that, based on the words used, seems significant after playing it back a couple of times.

Regarding Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and his lingering absence due to a shoulder strain, Schefter said, “He’s not fully back, he may not be back all season long.”

Schefter pointed to the shoulder injury and the broken ankle from last year, and he didn’t specify which injury would potentially keep Dak at under 100 percent. However, the shoulder injury quite possibly resulted from the ankle injury.

There are a number of ways we can take this.

The pessimists will feel that Schefter is hinting at something that is massively wrong with Prescott, that the Cowboys are hiding it, and that the season is doomed already. Fast forward to 2022.

Optimists will feel that Schefter is just in fact using “a throwaway line” as PFT mentioned, perhaps in the name of stoking the flames of interest surrounding one of the NFL’s most popular players. As tense as it is for Cowboys fans this story is one of the hottest ones in the NFL. Bills have to be paid.

Ultimately the truth is likely somewhere in between. It makes sense that Dak Prescott is not “100%” because if he was then he wouldn’t have any restrictions. But it also makes sense that, especially given how Dak has thrown to limited degrees at practice as mentioned, the season isn’t already imploding and that Dak will likely be ready for Week 1 and that the Cowboys are leaning massively on the side of caution here.

As for the connection between the shoulder injury and the ankle injury, Chris Simms said he thought Prescott’s throwing motion was altered because he isn’t fully able to trust planting on the ankle that was injured. This has led to overcompensation from the upper body which led to the strained muscle. Again, this is speculation.

For what it’s worth, Schefter isn’t the first major NFL figure to imply something like this these days. At the tail end of this week Pro Football Hall of Famer Gil Brandt interviewed Dak with Sirius XM NFL Radio and said that he feels the quarterback will be ready for Week 1, but, “just not sure he’ll be at 100%.”

This is the National Football League. There are rarely people who are at 100% all season long. Perhaps this is just highlighting that particular reality. But it is a story that won’t go away. With Prescott officially not playing on Saturday against the Texans it means that our next opportunity to see him will in fact be the season opener.

19 days away.