Dak Prescott says he is unlikely to play this week, eyeing return in Week 5 vs. Rams

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday that Dak Prescott still has swelling in his surgically repaired hand, and the quarterback has no timeline for when he will begin throwing. Prescott had his stitches removed from his thumb Monday night and lightly tossed a few passes before the team’s pregame warmups began.

The Cowboys didn’t place Prescott on injured reserve, expecting his return sooner than later.

While no one has ruled out Prescott playing against the Commanders on Sunday, Prescott said after Monday night’s victory over the Giants that Week 5 against the Rams probably is more realistic for his return.

“Nah, probably not,” Prescott told Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today Sports about playing against Washington. “But Week 5 against the Rams? That’s the one I’m looking at.”

Prescott was scheduled to meet with the team’s medical staff this week to devise a rehab plan. His return is predicated on his ability to grip the ball firmly.

“Some people are OK with [sitting out], but I’m not built that way,” Prescott told Reyes. “It’s f—ing killing me not being out there with my guys. It’s so hard, but I also know I’ve got to be patient.”

Prescott has worn a headset the past two games as backup Cooper Rush has led the Cowboys to victories over the Bengals and Giants. The veteran quarterback said the game has slowed down for him watching from the sideline.

“It’s not that I’m learning things new about the defenses we face or anything like that, but I’m seeing more and more just how simple this game can be,” Prescott said. “Hearing the calls in the headset and then seeing how defenses line up from the sideline reinforces that sometimes all you have to do is slow the game down and go through the design of the plays. It can be so (expletive) simple. That’s what I can’t wait to get back to.”

Prescott will return to the starting lineup once he’s ready, and it can’t come quickly enough for him. But the Cowboys’ two wins without him have eased the sting of being on the sideline in street clothes, Prescott said.

“Now that we’re winning, it’s all good. And I’ll be back soon,” he said.