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One year after his season-ending injury, Dak Prescott blessed and grateful

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons break down the Dallas Cowboys’ decision to release Jaylon Smith and ponder the linebacker’s future in the NFL.

It is 364 days since Dak Prescott’s severe ankle injury. As much as he tried not to think of the anniversary, how could he not?

The NFL scheduled the Giants to visit AT&T Stadium in Week 5, the same opponent, in the same week, in the same stadium where his 2020 season ended with a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle.

“As much as I’ve tried to put off, as much as I’ve tried to not think about it, I think it just naturally does [enter your mind], yeah, and it’s in the back of your head unconsciously or not,” Prescott said after the Cowboys’ victory over the Giants. “I would say I didn’t quite feel as energetic or as myself early in the game, and I don’t know if that played a part in it or not, but yeah, once I threw that touchdown to CeeDee [Lamb] is kind of when I started rolling and got in a groove. I don’t know if it was that or not.

“I’m grateful. I’m grateful to be, as you said, almost a year past this thing, but I’m thankful for just the way I’ve grown and everything. It’s allowed me to learn about myself and the support that I’ve had through it all. I’m just blessed and grateful.”

Prescott threw an interception and lost a fumble on two of the Cowboys’ first three drives, but he finished 22-of-32 for 302 yards with three touchdowns in Dallas’ 44-20 thrashing of the Giants.

Prescott thought about his injury when the cart came onto the field to transport Giants quarterback Daniel Jones to the locker room with a concussion. Prescott departed on a cart in tears after his injury in 2020.

“When I saw the cart, it definitely came in my head,” Prescott said. “Hey, get that thing out of here. Yeah, flip the page quick. I’ve got a short memory, so obviously I thought about it at that moment. Thoughts went for him. Hope he’s OK, and hope Saquon [Barkley], and hope all those guys [are OK]. You never want to see anybody get hurt. It’s a physical game, and we know this game can take a toll on your body, but you never want to see anybody get taken out where they can’t come back in.”

When the game was decided, Prescott shared a moment with Britt Brown, the team’s director of rehabilitation.

“I hugged Britt Brown right there at the end, and he said, ‘I know what this meant,’” Prescott said. “I told him, ‘Thank you,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I’m glad it’s behind us.’ I said, ‘I don’t know why I was in a slow, I guess mental fog I felt early, but when it passed, I’m glad it’s over it.’ I’m glad I’m past that. I think this was the final shovel of burying this thing.”