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Jerry Jones uncertain on when Dak Prescott will be able to grip the ball

Connor Rogers joins the show to discuss the idea that Cooper Rush could challenge Dak Prescott for the starting role with the Cowboys and the hierarchy of the NFC East.

Dak Prescott and the Cowboys have targeted Week 5 for the quarterback’s return to the lineup, but owner Jerry Jones said Sunday the team doesn’t know whether that will happen or not.

“I don’t have any way, have no way, by talking to a doctor or even by talking with Dak, I have no way to assess whether he’s going to be able to play this week,” Jones said after the Cowboys’ 25-10 victory over the Commanders.

Prescott underwent surgery Sept. 12 to repair a fracture in his right thumb, and Dallas has gone 3-0 with Cooper Rush filling in. Jones, who said immediately after Prescott’s injury that he hoped for Rush to play well enough to have a quarterback “dilemma,” didn’t hesitate Sunday when asked whether Rush’s performance in Prescott’s absence factors in when Prescott will get back in the lineup.

“There’s no thought about that,” Jones said.

Instead, Prescott’s return is predicated on his ability to grip the football. He has not practiced since the injury, throwing only some soft tosses last week.

“I don’t know. I really don’t,” Jones said when asked about Prescott’s return. “I know that he does need to be able to grip and control the ball, and he does need to do that so that the pain won’t keep him from doing it, so I don’t know if that’s going to happen [this week] or not. I do know that he’s making great progress. He’s certainly [doing] everything that I can see that we hoped when we didn’t put him on IR. I’m glad we didn’t have him on IR. He’s getting practice this week. He’s going to evolve more and more, so that’s good. It also feels good to know that Rush is playing at this level.”

Jones said the bone in Prescott’s hand doesn’t need to be completely healed for Prescott to play because of the plate that was inserted during surgery.

Now, the only question is when Prescott will be able to grip and control the ball. When that happens, Rush will go back to the bench despite what he has done in the starting quarterback’s absence.