There was nothing but confidence from the Cowboys when it came to how quarterback Dak Prescott would do in his return from last season’s fractured ankle and this summer’s shoulder trouble, but those outside of the organization needed a little more convincing.
Prescott provided it on Thursday night. Prescott looked right at home while completing 42-of-58 passes for 403 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in Tampa. He also ran four times for 13 yards, shook off a cut to his left hand, and led a scoring drive that put the Cowboys up 29-28 with 1:24 left to play in the game.
The Bucs would drive for a game-winning field goal, which left the Cowboys lamenting missed kicks and other moments where the offense couldn’t convert. Prescott’s outing wasn’t anything to lament, however, and he said he “enjoyed every moment” of his long-awaited return to action.
“I don’t feel like I say things just to say them, so that’s just a credit to all the work I put in,” Prescott said, via Todd Archer of ESPN.com. “I think when you invest that much work in rehab and prehab and just everything that has gone into the last 11 months for me to get on the field, I mean, I’m not surprised about the way that I went out there and fought. Ran the ball a couple times and did all the things that I’d normally do 11 months ago. No, I feel like I’m a better player than I was when I left the field [last year] and I told y’all that was the expectations I had for myself, and I’ll continue to try to get better game in and game out.”
There aren’t moral victories in the NFL, but Thursday night’s game was about as close as one could get for Prescott and the Cowboys. They’ll try to make the effort add up to an actual victory against the Chargers next week.