Cowboys won’t put Prescott on IR for possible earlier return

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys are not putting quarterback Dak Prescott on injured reserve after surgery on his right thumb, leaving open the possibility that he could return within the next four games.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday during his weekly appearance on the team’s flagship radio station that the team wants Prescott “to be a consideration for playing within the next four games.” That is the minimum number of games a player has to miss if placed on injured reserve.

“We feel very good after surgery, after listening to the medical people, that Dak has a real chance to be back out there throwing the ball real quick,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan.

Prescott had surgery Monday, a day after he got hurt in the fourth quarter of a season-opening 19-3 loss at home to Tampa Bay. He was following through after releasing a pass when his right hand bent awkwardly after making hard contact with the raised hands of rushing linebacker Shaq Barrett.

“We think he can come in and play. So, we don’t want to not have him out there practicing. We want him getting prepared,” Jones said. “We’ll see how he handles this thing, how it heals, mainly his strength, how he can grip the ball, what his status is. That’s not being an optimist. The proof is we got a good surgery, got good technique, and feel better about it than we did the other night.”

Cooper Rush finished the game in Prescott’s place and is expected to start Sunday’s home game against defending AFC champion Cincinnati. Jones said it was “unlikely” that the Cowboys would add a veteran quarterback, and instead would stick with backup quarterbacks Rush and Will Grier.

“Those guys know the offense well. They’ve had a lot of reps in it and consequently give us our best shot,” Jones said. “It’s unlikely that you have a veteran quarterback that could get back in here and be ready to play as well as those guys can play, even if you thought you might have a talent advantage.”

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