Dak Prescott suffered a devastating compound ankle fracture that ended his 2020 season in Week 5.
Since then, it's been largely good news for the Dallas Cowboys quarterback.
In March, he signed a long-anticipated contract extension with the Cowboys that comes with $126 million in guaranteed money. On April 6, he was seen in videos performing football drills while showing no ill effects of the injury that required multiple surgeries.
On Tuesday, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy and vice president Stephen Jones provided updates on Prescott's recovery. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
McCarthy: Prescott's 'maybe a little ahead of schedule'
"He's right where he needs to be for this time," McCarthy told reporters during a pre-draft news conference. "I had a chance to witness his workout Saturday. I was very impressed with the progress he's making. ...
"He's here almost every day, so I'd say he's right on track or maybe a little ahead of schedule."
Here's the video of Prescott from April 6:
There's not a lot to glean from the video other than Prescott apparently experiencing no issues planting his injured right ankle. But combined with McCarthy's assessment on Tuesday, it paints a positive picture of Prescott's progress toward returning this season.
Jones concurred with McCarthy, telling reporters the Cowboys "couldn't be happier" with Prescott's rehab work.
"He's making tremendous progress," Jones said. "We expect him to be 110 percent."
What's the next step for Prescott?
McCarthy declined to predict whether Prescott would be available for 11-on-11 drills during OTAs scheduled for May and June. So far, Prescott has been participating in voluntary workouts during the first phase of the NFL's offseason program.
But it sounds like Prescott's well on track to return for the start of the regular season after he was initially given a four-to-six-month recovery window.
Jerry Jones talks draft
Prescott wasn't the only topic of conversation during Tuesday's news conference. Cowboys brass also talked NFL draft ahead of Thursday's first round. After failing to make the playoffs last season, Dallas is sitting on the No. 10 pick.
Owner Jerry Jones talked about the opportunity to draft a premium defensive player at No. 10 after offensive players — primarily quarterbacks —are expected to dominate the top end of the first round.
"There's a chance to have a top defensive player — the top or one of the top to be there at 10," Jones said. "When you start talking about being where there's one of the top — whether it be at a position or one side of the ball or the other — there's a lot of action that can be had there."
Jones is obviously selling the value of Dallas' pick as pre-draft trade talks ramp up to overdrive with less than 60 hours before the start of the first round. But a player like Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain could be a tremendous value at No. 10.
Would Cowboys trade up for Kyle Pitts?
Jones has also spent time talking up Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, who is projected by many as the first non-quarterback off the board. He most certainly won't be available at No. 10. Was Jones trying to gin up interest in the No. 10 pick Tuesday in an effort to move up for the Florida tight end?
According to Jones, absolutely not — unless the price is right.
"We’re not going to go in there and spend inordinate value to maneuver up there so we can get Pitts,” Jones said.
As with everything this time of year, believe what comes out of an NFL executive's mouth at your own peril.
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