Cowboys QB Dak Prescott 'pumped' to be healthy entering offseason workouts

After a couple seasons marred by injuries both big and small, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said on Friday that this is the healthiest he's felt during an offseason in quite a while, something that has added to his enthusiasm for the start of voluntary workouts this week.

"It's exciting," Prescott said at the Children's Cancer Fund Gala, of which he was named co-chair. "I mean throwing this morning and leaving that session, yeah, I mean pumped up is the way I feel, the leg feels, the arm feels, the body feels. Yeah, I'm excited."

Prescott has battled multiple injuries in the past few years, most notably a gruesome compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle during a Week 5 game in 2020 which led to him missing the rest of the season. And while two ankle surgeries meant Prescott was back under center for the 2021 season, other nagging injuries over the course of the year kept him from playing at full strength for much of the year.

First there was a right shoulder strain that limited his playing time in the preseason, then a right calf strain that caused Prescott to miss a game in October. Despite these issues, Prescott still led the Cowboys to the postseason and won a spot as a replacement selection for the Pro Bowl, though he declined to play in order to give his body a break. And just last month, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy announced Prescott had undergone "clean-up" surgery on his non-throwing left shoulder.

But now, after months of continued rehab on his ankle to keep it strong, along with time to recover from the other issues that popped up in 2021, Prescott feels he's finally at a point where he can move on from the injuries.

"A year ago, you're excited because you're back on your leg. You're moving it for the first time. From one week to the next you get to do two jumps to three jumps to jogging to sprinting, so you're excited and you feel progress," Prescott said. "But a year [later], I get on the field and I don't even think about my leg. It goes from getting that leg better to that's not even a thought in my head. There's days, maybe the cold front comes in, that I might feel it a little bit more, but it's not a thought in my head or a worry or rehabbing on."

Prescott said that not having to worry about rehabbing a specific body part during the offseason means that this year he can enter training camp focused instead on improving his overall quality of play.

"I'm not rehabbing one thing. I'm working on my whole body," he said. "From my foot speed, it's not just putting this down. Now it's, 'Can I get this thing faster than they've ever been?' It's about improving on the person and player I was before the injury now and being the best player I can be for this organization."

And if Dallas wants to make it deep into the postseason in 2022, a healthy and improving Prescott will likely be just what the doctor ordered.

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