Dak Prescott made an emotional return to the same field that he suffered a career-changing injury on a year ago. It had been 50 weeks since Dak played in AT&T Stadium. It’s been even longer since he played in front of a capacity crowd of 80,000 screaming fans. The pandemic kept capacity below 50 percent in 2020.
The compound fracture and dislocation of Prescott’s right ankle were well in the rearview mirror but fresh in his mind during pregame.
Before kickoff, Prescott got emotional during the national anthem and television cameras captured a tear running down his cheek. During a postgame interview, the quarterback said he also felt the emotions of his return during warmups but was composed by kickoff.
Dak Prescott teared up before playing in his first home game in nearly one year.
It's good to have him back 🙏 pic.twitter.com/T862aDhJP4
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 28, 2021
“I think there was a couple of times, but definitely again during the national anthem,” Prescott told ESPN after the game. “Just gratitude. Definitely just thankful for everything that I’ve been through. All the hard work that it took … just to be back out here doing what I love. It’s the greatest place to play football.
“I think the last moment was the national anthem and then it was go time.”
Dak’s been through a grueling rehabilitation, exhausting and public contract negotiations, and his value was questioned publicly by Cowboys ownership before they gave him a long-overdue four-year, $160 million contract extension. Dak also suffered a tragic personal loss while dealing with a pandemic.
How Bout Dem Cowboys?
He’s entered 2021 as a marked man leading a talented Cowboys team with a legitimate shot to win the NFC East. If things go according to plan they can basically have the division locked by November.
The division they reside in is bottom-feeder material. Dallas’ 41-14 demolition of the Eagles on “Monday Night Football” is pretty much the kind of butt-whipping you should expect anytime Dak and The Boys face a division opponent.
Dallas has assembled a team that has its sights set beyond winning the division. Dak established himself in Week 1 against the defending champion Tampa Bay Bucs and Tom Brady. Dak went blow for blow with Brady in a 403-yard passing performance in his first game back since his gruesome ankle injury.
Dak Prescott vs Bucs
🔥 403 passing yards
🔥 3 TDs
🔥 28.4 fantasy points
DAK IS BACK pic.twitter.com/TIqA7wPCDM
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) September 10, 2021
Dak was probably the best player on the field, throwing the ball more than he ever has in his career and coming up just a Brady drive and a field goal short in the 31-29 loss.
If there’s such a thing as victories in losing, Dak and the Cowboys had one on that night.
Tom Brady was surely impressed.
“Amazing, amazing,” Brady said of Prescott’s return to the field in an NBC postgame interview.
“And that’s what sports are all about. They push us to understand who we are, what our character is out there. He had a long rehab and missed a lot of the preseason and came out and played a hell of a game.”
Dallas has won two in a row since then and the “Monday Night Football” announcers were raving about the QB from Mississippi State as the minutes ticked away.
“I couldn’t picture getting back to this spot,” but Prescott has, Brian Griese opined.
“He epitomizes franchise quarterback in every sense of the word,” Louis Riddick said.
Dak Prescott’s Return Home
It was truly Prescott’s night and his time to shine and establish himself as an early MVP candidate. He leads the NFL in completion percentage (77.5) after his deadly efficient 21-of-26 passing performance with three TDs against Philly. Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts never had a chance. He was the sacrificial lamb in Prescott’s grand return.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) September 28, 2021
A youngster looking up to one of the standards at his position. This next chapter of Prescott’s life is shaping up to be his best ever.
On a night when Cowboys legends Bob Lilly, Tony Dorsett, Randy White, Mel Renfro, Troy Aikman, Rayfield Wright, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Charles Haley, Gil Brandt, and Jerry Jones were all in attendance to welcome Cliff Harris, Jimmy Johnson, and Drew Pearson into the Cowboys Pro Football Hall of Fame family — the next generation of Cowboys legends emphatically showed the proper respects.