Dak Prescott knows the exact date he “buried” his ankle injury for good. The moment didn’t come on the football field but on the dance floor.
It came May 5 during Texas’ holiday celebration of Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
“I really just, yeah, just had a good Cinco de Mayo,” Prescott said, chuckling, Wednesday. “Was a little active, and at that time, did some little dance moves and I felt like I was ready to go. That was when I said in my head the injury is gone.”
His participation in the Cowboys’ offseason program has only reinforced his belief that his injury is history. Prescott is fully cleared for all football activities, though the Cowboys have been smart in keeping him out of harm’s way during 11-on-11 work.
“When you go back and look on film on the first day [of offseason work] and the last day of me scrambling, you can visually tell that I’m running better,” Prescott said. “That’s the good part of it. But rehab before this, I was doing all kinds of cuts, jumps, things like that that happen in a scramble drill. So never within the drill did I ever think about my leg or did I ever think that this was a part of the rehab rather that I’m pushing myself and I block that mentally.
“I’ve buried the injury honestly guys — you know me — from the point of practice, from the point of just moving forward and going about my life. I’ve buried it mentally, and I think you guys and a lot of people around have to help me in burying it as well as we move forward.”
Prescott wants the Oct. 11 injury — a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle — written on a tombstone. He is past the residual swelling and soreness part of his rehab.
“With all that gone, and none of those affects, that’s what allows me and helps me to bury it to be honest with you guys,” Prescott said. “I don’t even think about it before practice, but still doing all the necessary things and being smart because I am still seven months or so away from the injury.”
Prescott underwent immediate surgery after being carted off during the Week 5 game against the Giants and transported to an area hospital. He required a second surgery in December to strengthen the ankle.
Prescott’s initial prognosis was four to six months, though he never put a timeline on his comeback.
“The first surgery I got out of my boot probably like a week, and then I was having another surgery,” Prescott said. “Then, after that, I really like said, ‘Hell with the time,’ to be honest with you. Didn’t keep account of day by day or week by week and just started going more off how my body felt and just the things I was able to do from one day to another. I think that’s what got me through it honestly. I wasn’t counting months. I think it was just the other day that I had to count on my fingers the time since I’ve been hurt. I haven’t really kept up with that. That was one of my goals and missions when I first got hurt is I said, ‘I’m not going to try to beat anybody’s timeline. I’m just going to go out here and work day by day and just try to get myself better,’ because I knew the amount of time I had before I actually needed to be ready for the season.”