Without question, the top headline coming out of Week 5 of the NFL season was the devastating injury suffered by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Just watching the injury is not for the faint of heart, as Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, which means that bone penetrated the skin. He underwent surgery on Sunday night and his 2020 season is all but over.
However, there are so many layers to Prescott’s injury. Keep in mind that he was playing the 2020 season on the franchise tag. Unless the Cowboys give him the franchise tag again, he will be a free agent this offseason. That means Prescott will hit the open market coming off a serious injury with no guarantee he’ll be the same player he was before the injury.
In retrospect, Prescott looks a little foolish for not agreeing to an extension with the Cowboys this past offseason. The two sides were reportedly close with Prescott preferring only three or four years while Dallas wanted to lock him up for longer. An extension with the Cowboys is still possible, but for the moment, everything is contingent on Prescott’s prognosis and the progress he makes when he starts to rehab the injury.
As for the Cowboys, they are now Andy Dalton’s team. The longtime Cincinnati quarterback led Dallas to a 37-34 win over the Giants following Prescott’s injury. The win took the Cowboys to 2-3 and into first place in the worst division in recent NFL memory. Compared to other NFL backups, Dalton is probably as good as it gets, and with Carson Wentz struggling, there’s an argument that the Cowboys still have the best quarterback in the NFC East.
Despite the gruesome injury to Prescott, the Cowboys are still in the driver’s seat inside the NFC East. They still have a veteran, offensive-minded head coach and an experienced quarterback. However, the Dallas offense will look different without Prescott, who was the team’s second-leading rusher. More importantly, there is both concern and uncertainty regarding Prescott’s health and career. With a little good luck, there’s no reason to think that Prescott can’t come back from this injury. But whether he does it in Dallas remains to be seen.