But the Cowboys quarterback does indeed feel physically fine and more comfortable playing with his feet as he moves further and further away from his 2020 injury – a compound fracture and dislocated ankle. right – which ruled him out of the last 11 games of this season and led to several months of rehabilitation.
“I go into each offseason trying to be a better player and a better person than I was the year before, and at this point, at this point, I really feel like I’ve accomplished this,” he said. “I think I’m so, so much more advanced than I was last year at this time, just being able to get the team reps and being able to move more, take care of my whole body and myself. focus on everything and not just my leg. That’s a huge difference.
This time last year, the Cowboys kept Prescott out of any drills that involved a pass rush, a preventative measure before training camp. The surgically repaired ankle did not experience a setback during the season, although Prescott was limited by right shoulder muscle strain for most of camp and missed a regular season game with strain in the right calf.
This year he has enjoyed a healthy offseason with no training restrictions, a key advantage for the offense as it works through some personnel changes at receiver (namely, a change in role after the departure of Amari Cooper in Cleveland, plus the additions of third-round draft pick Jalen Tolbert and veteran James Washington). Prescott and Tolbert appeared in sync throughout Tuesday’s minicamp practice, including a rookie touchdown throw during a scramble situation in team drills.
“What jumps out at me is his movement ability in scrambling drills and scrambling situations, the way he activates the scrambling drills,” head coach Mike McCarthy said. “He has more reps. It’s more natural for him. He looks really good.
“He’s leaner, more flexible. I think the mechanics, just to be able to really follow the mechanics. There’s no limits to the movement drills. The quarterback drills last year, there’s had a progressive phase of the different types of exercises, how we did them. There was no progression to this year. He was full throttle from day one.”
Prescott’s ability to move in and out of the pocket and make plays on engineered runs has been a major asset to the offense since entering the league in 2016. He said his ankle n was never on his mind during race situations last season. . But McCarthy explained why the team tried to be smart with how often he was put in racing situations.
“I think it’s obvious that we haven’t called as many quarterback runs as we used to,” McCarthy said. “There weren’t that many in the game plan, so I think we tried to be smart when we used it. I think it’s natural. I think if you look at history in this league, when a player has a major joint injury, it usually takes them a full year. There’s a first for everything the player has to go through. That was definitely part of our thinking.”
Now, nearly two years after the injury — 20 months, to be exact — Prescott’s primary focus is offense, building a relationship as training camp draws closer.
“To be able to go out and have so many reps with these young guys,” Prescott said. “Having such a young receiver corps and a young team, just being able to rotate these guys with me, actually getting in there with these reps, being able to explain some of the things to them, but they’re good quality reps for me. and for some of these guys that we will actually need in the fall.”