Dak Prescott

Latest On Odell Beckham Jr.

6:10pm: Adding further detail to Beckham’s visitation schedule, Anderson reports that the three-time Pro Bowler will meet with the Giants before heading to Dallas (Twitter link). In between, he is expected to meet with the Bills. Anderson adds that Beckham and his camp remain in conversation with the both the Chiefs and Ravens as he continues to draw significant interest from around the league.

3:30pm: The Cowboys and Giants are about to face off against each other on the field, but they are also in competition with respect to free agent Odell Beckham JrThe high-profile wideout is thought to be down to the NFC East rivals with respect to his decision on where to sign.

That decision is expected to come soon, but Beckham’s health is obviously a sticking point in negotiations. He tore his ACL during last season’s Super Bowl, leading to widespread expectation that a lengthy absence to begin 2022 would ensue. That could extend beyond the immediate future, however; FOX Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano reports that there is “considerable doubt” around the NFL that Beckham will be able to suit up at any point this season.

That could explain the slow-moving process by which the 30-year-old is weighing his options. CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets that the Cowboys are expecting a visit from Beckham in early December, with a different team hosting him sometime before then. That represents at least a slight shift in the expected timeline for a decision to be made; Beckham had previously been reportedly seeking to find his next home by the end of this month.

Dallas has consistently been the most vocal team while pitching Beckham to choose them over a shortlist of other suitors (which includes the Giants but also, at least recently, the Bills, Chiefs and 49ers). Continuing along those lines, quarterback Dak Prescott has been personally involved in recruiting Beckham, as noted (on Twitter) by Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The latter has made it known on multiple occasions that mutual interest exists between he and the Cowboys.

Members of the Giants are also taking part in the bidding war for Beckham’s services, however. Injured wideout Sterling Shepard has been in conversation with him on an everyday basis, as detailed by Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

“I talk to him every day, but we don’t talk about [his decision] too much,” Shepard said. “Obviously he knows that we want him here. He would love to be here. But everything has to play out for that to happen… And I understand that.”

The Giants’ WR room was far from highly-touted to begin the year, and the latest major injury suffered this past week (rookie Wan’Dale Robinson‘s torn ACL) leaves the unit severely shorthanded. Beckham could fill a significant void by reuniting with the Giants, though the same remains true of the Cowboys in that regard. Both teams will have a slightly clearer picture of their postseason outlook after today’s game, and could have a prized acquisition not long after.

Cowboys’ Dak Prescott Cleared To Return

OCTOBER 19: As expected, Prescott has officially been cleared to play on Sunday (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Jane Slater). That will allow him a full week of practice as he ramps up to his return against Detroit.

OCTOBER 17: Cooper Rush‘s starter stint is expected to stop at five games. The Cowboys anticipate Dak Prescott will receive clearance Tuesday and return to practice Wednesday, per Mike McCarthy.

The seventh-year veteran has steadily been building toward a return, and although he teased possible Week 5 and Week 6 comebacks, Week 7 against the Lions appears the window for Prescott’s re-emergence. Dak has been out since suffering a thumb injury in Dallas’ opener.

Prescott faced a four- to six-week timetable, and the Detroit matchup stands to bring a return on the back end of that schedule. But a Prescott return will obviously put the Cowboys in a better position to field an upper-echelon offense. Despite Rush’s struggles in Philadelphia, the sixth-year backup still fared better than expected during his stay in Dallas’ starting lineup. He is now 5-1 as a starter. Even factoring in Sunday’s performance, Rush ranks seventh in QBR.

Grip became an issue during the homestretch of Prescott’s recovery, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes grip strength remains one of the final hurdles here. A setback on this front could lead to another Rush start, but Rapoport adds no issues cropped up after Prescott’s pregame throwing session in Philadelphia (video links).

Dallas’ Tony Romo successor began his starter run with 69 consecutive starts but has missed time in each of the past three seasons. Upon returning from his early-season calf injury last year, Prescott finished the campaign with a career-high 37 touchdown passes and led the Cowboys to the NFC East title. This year’s team is 4-2 but now way behind in the division race, thanks to the Eagles’ 6-0 start. But the Cowboys did not fall completely out of the race like they did in 2020, when Prescott suffered a severe ankle injury.

Prescott, 29, is a two-time Pro Bowler and the 2016 Offensive Rookie of the Year. While detractors have certainly emerged, Dak doubles as one of this era’s best draft picks due to the Cowboys landing a franchise passer in the fourth round. This is the second season of Prescott’s four-year, $160MM contract.

Cowboys Preparing To Start Cooper Rush In Week 6

Another week of Cooper Rush will be on tap for the Cowboys, who are preparing for one of their highest-profile matchups in recent years. Mike McCarthy said his backup will make another start Sunday night against the Eagles.

Out since suffering a thumb injury in Week 1, Dak Prescott is scheduled to throw for the first time since the injury Wednesday, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. But the seventh-year Dallas starter’s timetable remains up in the air. Prescott had wanted to come back in Week 5, but he is on track to miss a fifth game as a result of this injury.

Jerry Jones said last week Prescott was still having trouble gripping a football. The Cowboys have understandably wanted their Pro Bowl starter to go through at least a week of throwing in practice before returning. With Prescott’s Wednesday session to be on the side, that stage of his return timetable has not yet begun. It opens the door for Rush to attempt to push his starter record to 6-0.

Rush’s unexpected run of success began in a Sunday Night Football cameo, when he quarterbacked the Cowboys to a road win over the Vikings last season. Rush, 28, began his Cowboys career in 2017, when he joined the team as a UDFA. He impressed Jason Garrett‘s coaching staff enough to become Prescott’s primary backup. The Central Michigan alum, however, did not make any starts during his first go-round with the team. Prescott began his career with 70 consecutive starts, taking over after a Tony Romo preseason injury in 2016, and Rush was with the Giants when Dallas’ starter went down with an ankle injury.

The Cowboys circled back to Rush in 2020, after the Giants waived him, and have seen that reinvestment pay off. Rush has completed 61% of his passes (7.1 yards per attempt) and has thrown four TD passes compared to zero INTs. Jones and McCarthy have stressed no quarterback competition exists here, but the Cowboys have seen Rush guide a 4-1 start — one that sets up one of the bigger Cowboys-Eagles matchups this century. Philadelphia enters Sunday’s game as the NFL’s last remaining unbeaten.

Dak Prescott Unlikely To Play In Week 6?

As Cooper Rush prepares to make a fourth consecutive start for the Cowboys, the recovery of Dak Prescott continues to receive plenty of attention. The Cowboys’ No. 1 quarterback is facing an uphill battle to play next week, as things currently stand. 

[RELATED: No QB Controversy Between Rush, Prescott]

Prescott would need to make “significant strides” to be available for Dallas’ Week 6 game against the Eagles, per Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The 29-year-old has been out since the season opener with a thumb injury which required surgery but not an IR stint. A four-to-six week recovery timetable is considered the schedule by which Prescott will be able to return.

That made it surprising when it became known the two-time Pro Bowler was eyeing today’s game against the Rams as the one in which he could suit up. As his ability to grip a football becomes the central issue, the thumb’s level of swelling will go a long way in determining the level of involvement Prescott can have during practice this week.

Pelissero and Rapoport add that Prescott will meet with doctors again on Tuesday to evaluate his progress. If he is able to make it onto the field in time, he could enter a very tight situation with respect to the standings in the NFC East. The Eagles head into today’s action as the league’s only remaining unbeaten team, and the Giants’ come-from-behind win over the Packers in London moved them to 4-1 on the year.

Rush will look to help the Cowboys keep pace today against the defending Super Bowl champions. His perfect record as a starter has led to some calls for a QB change even when Prescott is healthy, though the team has insisted that will not take place. Especially is the former UDFA can register another win, Dallas would be well-positioned to remain cautious with the return of their highest-paid player, something which may not take place until deeper into October.

Latest On Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush

Jerry Jones stirred the pot recently when he said he’d welcome a quarterback controversy between Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush. However, the Cowboys owner and GM quickly walked back his comments, stating definitively that Rush won’t supplant Prescott as the starter going forward.

[RELATED: Dak Prescott Targeting Week 5 Return]

“No. No,” Jones replied when asked if there was a scenario where the team would opt for Rush over Prescott (per Clarence Hill Jr. of the Dallas Star-Telegram). “As I see it right today.”

Rush has guided the Cowboys to three consecutive victories, and he’ll likely earn another start this weekend as Dak continues to recover from his hand injury. Jones noted that Prescott still can’t grip a football despite having his stitches removed more than a week ago. Considering the team’s public stance that their starter would need a week of practice before returning to the field, Hill opines that Prescott won’t be ready for this weekend’s showdown against the Rams.

The Cowboys never placed the QB on the injured reserve, leading some to believe he’d be able to make a return to the lineup before Week 6. Prescott himself stated that he was eyeing a Week 5 return date. It sounds like that won’t be the case, but that doesn’t bother Jones or the organization. Instead, the team sounds content with Dak making his return on October 16 against the Eagles.

“Well, I know that it’s better, and I know that he’s going to go out there every day and make progress toward being able to grip the ball,” Jones said. “I don’t know that you could ask for better news technically, physically in how it’s responding, how it’s healing so to speak. And, so, all of those things are on go, and I don’t know that you could make any more progress. There’s some things here about healing that I often say only the man upstairs knows how that works. But he’ll have a big week and he’ll be hard on himself getting ready to go.”

Cowboys Notes: Dak, Rush, Washington

We heard earlier this week that Dak Prescott was eyeing a Week 5 return, but Week 6 may end up being a more realistic target. Clarence Hill Jr. of the Dallas Star-Telegram tweets that Prescott won’t start throwing until the end of this week. Assuming the QB wants more than a week to ramp up, the Cowboys’ October 16 game against the Eagles may be a more realistic return date.

Prescott has been soft tossing but has yet to progress to “real throwing.” The fact that he’s throwing at all has led some to wonder if the quarterback could even return in Week 4 against Washington. Hill completely rules out that notion, and he suggests Prescott won’t even be ready for the Week 5 contest against the Rams.

Dallas can operate with a bit more caution after backup Cooper Rush has helped guide the Cowboys to wins over the Bengals and Giants. The team can continue to operate with some flexibility after not placing Dak on injured reserve, a move that would have kept him off the field through Week 5.

More notes out of Dallas…

  • Speaking of Rush, Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post explores the Giants’ reasoning for moving on from the QB. After spending the first three seasons of his career in Dallas, Rush was claimed off waivers by the Giants in 2020. He had a brief stint on their practice squad before getting released, and that led to his return to the Cowboys. While Rush had fans in New York (including former head coach Joe Judge and former OC Jason Garrett), he also had some detractors, leading to the organization replacing him with Clayton Thorson. “The decision-makers with the Giants felt like they weren’t overly impressed with how he played or what his potential was,” Garrett told Dunleavy. “To me, Coop is not someone who wows you physically. Sometimes you get caught up in that. Sometimes those decisions happen.”
  • Meanwhile, wideout James Washington is still a few weeks away from returning, per Hill on Twitter. The veteran receiver signed with Dallas this offseason but landed on injured reserve after suffering a foot injury. He’ll be eligible to return in Week 5, but it sounds like he’ll need a bit more time to recover. Washington spent the first four years of his career with the Steelers, including a 2021 campaign where he hauled in 24 receptions for 285 yards.
  • Former Cowboys second-round pick Gavin Escobar was among two rock climbers who were found dead in a remote area near Idyllwild, CA, per the AP. The 31-year-old spent the first four seasons of his career in Dallas, appearing in 62 games. He bounced around the NFL a bit before ending his playing career in the Alliance of American Football.

Dak Prescott Targeting Week 5 Return

Cooper Rush is now 3-0 as a starter, adding back-to-back 2022 victories to a ledger that included an upset win in Minnesota last season. While Jerry Jones has talked up his backup since Dak Prescott‘s injury, Mike McCarthy slammed the door on the veteran QB2 keeping the gig once Prescott returns. That window is approaching.

Since Prescott is not on IR, he could come back Sunday against the Commanders. Although Prescott told ESPN’s Lisa Salters on Monday he was not ruling that out, the seventh-year veteran said he “probably” will not be ready in time. But Dak added he is targeting the Cowboys’ Week 5 Rams matchup for his return, via Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today.

Prescott had the stitch removed from his surgically repaired thumb Monday, Reyes adds, with ESPN.com’s Todd Archer (via Twitter) noting the Pro Bowl passer is improving his grip strength as he ramps up toward retaking the reins for the Cowboys. Jones called Prescott’s progress “nothing short of amazing” during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan (via The Athletic). The longtime owner said his starter is a week or two away from returning.

Equipped with a much better defense than the one that surrendered a franchise-record point total in 2020, the Cowboys are in superior shape than they were when Prescott last missed a chunk of a season. Michael Gallup will likely be back when Prescott returns, after the fifth-year wideout practiced ahead of the Giants game but was held out for precautionary reasons.

Rush, albeit in a very small sample size, ranks sixth in QBR after helping the Cowboys to wins over the Bengals and Giants. The sixth-year backup’s improvement will give Prescott time to recover, without the starter needing to be rushed back. But it will be interesting how the Cowboys play it if Dak deems himself ready ahead of their Rams tilt. The Cowboys face the Eagles in Philadelphia the following week.

Cowboys Won’t Place Dak Prescott On IR

After he underwent successful surgery on his injured thumb yesterday, attention surrounding Dak Prescott will now turn towards his recovery timeline. The Cowboys are optimistic that their franchise quarterback’s absence will be shorter than initially expected. 

Team owner Jerry Jones said this morning that the team will not be placing Prescott on IR (Twitter link via Jon Machota of The Athletic). Doing so was the expectation after the news of his injury broke, and would have guaranteed that Prescott missed the Cowboys’ next four games. Instead, this move leaves open the possibility that he could return in less than one month.

The recovery timetable was initially reported to be six to eight weeks. However, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets that Prescott’s window to return could actually be four to six weeks, making the team’s decision a more understandable one. Dallas will play the Bengals in Week 2, followed by divisional games against the Giants and Commanders. A three-week absence through that stretch could set up Prescott for a return in Week 5 against the Rams. Prescott not going to IR will allow him to practice, when that time comes.

Perhaps more realistically, another key NFC East contest in Philadelphia the following week could be the time at which the two-time Pro Bowler is back on the field. In any event, the fact that the Cowboys are optimistic Prescott will be available for multiple games before their bye week is a significant and encouraging update for their offense. In the absence of Amari Cooper and Tyron Smith in particular, expectations were raised for Prescott to carry the unit which led the league in scoring last year.

Given the team’s positive outlook, it comes as little surprise that Jones also confirmed (via Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News, on Twitter) the Cowboys will not be pursuing a veteran backup. Cooper Rush will fill in for Prescott for the time being, leaving Will Grier as the No. 2. Should Prescott be able to return in just a few weeks, their performances will be less impactful on Dallas’ season than it originally seemed.

Dak Prescott Undergoes Thumb Surgery

5:27pm: Prescott has undergone the thumb surgery, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter). The operation was successful, but the wait begins. Rather than acquire another quarterback, the Cowboys are sticking with Rush. The former UDFA has been Dallas’ primary backup since Tony Romo‘s 2017 retirement. Prescott is expected to attend the now-Rush-centered position meetings as he rehabs.

8:51am: The Cowboys suffered a significant loss on the scoreboard and the depth chart last night, as quarterback Dak Prescott left the game with a thumb injury. He will undergo surgery to address the issue, which ESPN’s Todd Archer reports is expected to keep him sidelined for six to eight weeks. As a result, Archer adds, Prescott will likely be placed on IR. 

During postgame availability, head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed that the injury is “significant.” Prescott, meanwhile, offered a somewhat encouraging update by saying that the fracture in his throwing hand “was much cleaner than it could have been.”

Nevertheless, the injury is a crushing blow for the Cowboys, whose offense already faced plenty of questions heading into last night. Left tackle Tyron Smith will be sidelined until at least December due to a torn hamstring, and the injuries to wideouts Michael Gallup and James Washington leave the team with few established pass-catchers. Overcoming those absences will be significantly more difficult without Prescott, who will be on the shelf for the second time in the past three seasons after an injury-free start to his career.

The two-time Pro Bowler was limited to five games by an ankle injury in 2020, but still landed a $40MM-per-year deal the following offseason. He played in 16 games last year, posting an 11-5 record while throwing for 4,449 yards and 37 touchdowns. Expectations were high for he and the team again in 2022, but things have changed dramatically in the span of one night.

“It’s very disappointing,” Prescott said, via Bobby Kownack of NFL.com“But injuries happen. You can’t necessarily control it. It’s just unfortunate… but I’ll do what I’ve always done any time adversity comes. Take it on headfirst, give it my best, and I’m sure I’ll come out of this thing better.”

Cooper Rush will now take over as Dallas’ starting QB; the former UDFA had made 11 appearances with the Cowboys before filling in for Prescott last night (but only one start). He, along with Will Grier, were temporarily let go of during roster cutdowns, but the team fully intended to keep both of them in the fold. Grier will likely be signed to the active roster from the practice squad, unless the Cowboys search for outside options to replace their signal-caller for the intermediate future.

Largest 2022 Cap Hits: Offense

After the COVID-19 pandemic led to the second reduction in NFL salary cap history last year, the 2022 cap made a record jump. This year’s salary ceiling ($208.2MM) checks in $25.7MM north of the 2021 figure.

While quarterbacks’ salaries will continue to lead the way, a handful of blockers and skill-position players carry sizable cap numbers for 2022. A few of the quarterbacks that lead the way this year may not be tied to those numbers once the regular season begins. The 49ers, Browns and Ravens have made efforts to alter these figures via trades or extensions.

Here are the top 2022 salary cap hits on the offensive side of the ball:

  1. Ryan Tannehill, QB (Titans): $38.6MM
  2. Patrick Mahomes, QB (Chiefs): $35.79MM
  3. Kirk Cousins, QB (Vikings): $31.42MM
  4. Jared Goff, QB (Lions): $31.15MM
  5. Aaron Rodgers, QB (Packers): $28.53MM
  6. Carson Wentz, QB (Commanders): $28.29MM
  7. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB (49ers): $26.95MM
  8. Russell Wilson, QB (Broncos): $24MM
  9. Lamar Jackson, QB (Ravens): $23.02MM
  10. Kenny Golladay, WR (Giants): $21.2MM
  11. Garett Bolles, T (Broncos): $21MM
  12. Dak Prescott, QB (Cowboys): $19.73MM
  13. Derek Carr, QB (Raiders): $19.38MM
  14. D.J. Humphries, T (Cardinals): $19.33MM
  15. Keenan Allen, WR (Chargers): $19.2MM
  16. Taylor Decker, T (Lions): $18.9MM
  17. Sam Darnold, QB (Panthers): 18.89MM
  18. Baker Mayfield, QB (Browns): $18.89MM
  19. Matt Ryan, QB (Colts): $18.7MM
  20. Ronnie Stanley, T (Ravens): $18.55MM
  21. Donovan Smith, T (Buccaneers): $18.4MM
  22. Ezekiel Elliott, RB (Cowboys): $18.22MM
  23. DeAndre Hopkins, WR (Cardinals): $17.95MM
  24. Cooper Kupp, WR (Rams): $17.8MM
  25. Laremy Tunsil, T (Texans): $17.71MM
  • The Chiefs’ cap sheet looks a bit different this year, with Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu off the roster. But Mahomes’ cap number rockets from $7.4MM in 2021 to the league’s second-largest figure in 2022. This marks the first time Mahomes’ 10-year contract is set to count more than $10MM toward Kansas City’s cap, with the AFC West champs not yet restructuring the deal this year.
  • Tied to a few lucrative extensions since relocating to Minnesota, Cousins’ third Vikings deal dropped his cap number from $45MM. The fifth-year Vikings QB’s cap number is set to climb past $36MM in 2023.
  • Prior to negotiating his landmark extension in March, Rodgers was set to count more than $46MM on the Packers’ payroll.
  • The 49ers are aiming to move Garoppolo’s nonguaranteed money off their payroll. That figure becomes guaranteed in Week 1, providing a key date for the franchise. San Francisco is prepared to let Garoppolo negotiate contract adjustments with other teams to facilitate a trade.
  • Wilson counts $26MM on the Seahawks’ 2022 payroll, due to the dead money the NFC West franchise incurred by trading its 10-year starter in March.
  • Jackson, Darnold and Mayfield are attached to fifth-year option salaries. Jackson’s is higher due to the former MVP having made two Pro Bowls compared to his 2018 first-round peers’ zero. The 2020 CBA separated fifth-year option values by playing time and accomplishments. The Browns and Panthers have engaged in off-and-on negotiations on divvying up Mayfield’s salary for months, while a Jackson extension remains on the radar.
  • Golladay’s cap number jumped from $4.47MM last year to the highest non-quarterback figure among offensive players. The Giants wideout’s four-year deal calls for $21MM-plus cap hits from 2023-24.
  • Prior to being traded to the Colts, who adjusted their new starter’s contract, Ryan was set to carry an NFL-record $48MM cap hit this year. The Falcons are carrying a league-record $40.5MM dead-money charge after dealing their 14-year starter.
  • The Texans restructured Tunsil’s deal in March, dropping his 2022 cap hit from $26.6MM to its present figure. Because of the adjustment, Tunsil’s 2023 cap number resides at $35.2MM

Contract information courtesy of Over The Cap