A day after receiving negative news as it relates to Zack Martin's status for Week 1, Cowboys fans received good news in the form of Dak Prescott's practice status. The Cowboys' starting quarterback was a full participant at practice on Monday and, barring a setback, is slated to start Thursday night's season-opener against the defending champion Buccaneers.
Prescott's status has been under the microscope since he suffered a right shoulder sprain during a July 28 practice. The setback sidelined Prescott for the entire preseason while also limiting him to individual work during the majority of training camp. Prescott has looked sharp since returning to practice on Aug. 25. In fact, Cowboys president Jerry Jones announced that Prescott will be "good to go" for the season-opener back on Aug. 29.
The Cowboys will have Prescott on Thursday, but they will be without their former Pro Bowl right guard after Martin tested positive for COVID-19. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy has announced that three-year veteran Connor McGovern will replace Martin on Thursday night. A fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft, McGovern made eight starts in 14 games last season while filling in for Martin, who dealt with a concussion and a calf injury during the season.
Expectations for the 2021 season are sky high for Prescott, who is more than nine months removed from surgery to repair the compound fracture to his right ankle. Prior to last season's injury, Prescott was the NFL's passing leader with 1,856 yards through five games. In the Cowboys' Week 2 win over the Falcons, Prescott became the first player to throw for 400 yards and run for three scores in the same game. In his last full game under center, Prescott threw for 502 yards and four touchdowns in a Week 4 loss to the Browns.
While Thursday will be Prescott's first live action in 333 days, the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback said on Monday that he plans to pick up where he left off during the first five games of the 2020 season.
"Obviously, I have high expectations for myself," Prescott said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic. "I plan to come out starting fast. I've said before, I don't necessarily want the numbers that I had that early because we weren't winning games and we weren't being competitive early, and that's why some of those numbers came about. I plan to come out better than I was last year, to be honest. That's just the work that I've put in going all the way back to February when I got back on the field. I'm excited for it."
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