FRISCO, Texas — A year ago, Dak Prescott was not fully cleared to take part in the Dallas Cowboys’ minicamp as he worked his way back from a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle.
“I think I’m so, so much further along than I was last year at this time,” Prescott said. “I mean just being able to get the team reps, being able to move more, take care of my whole body and just focus on everything and not just my leg is a huge difference.”
While he weighs the same as last year, 228 pounds, Prescott said he is as lean as he has ever been.
“People tell me that [he looks leaner], I say thank you,” Prescott said. “It’s a product of working on everything and not just on my leg. Whether it be diet or whatever, just focused on every way I can get better.”
At Mississippi State, he joked he was a “meathead,” and had mandatory meals at Taco Bell and McDonald’s during the week. While he has not totally cut out fast food, he has altered his diet the past two years.
“Just training a little bit different, doing a lot more rotational things that I think dropped some of the baby fat, I guess, off,” Prescott said.
This is the first full offseason Prescott has had with Mike McCarthy as coach. In 2020, the program was in a virtual format because of the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, Prescott was rehabbing.
“It’s been huge for everybody,” McCarthy said. “So I think all the little things that we do, particularly the meetings, in the walkthroughs, they’re obviously important but just for him to have no limits has been outstanding. And I think you can clearly see it in the way he’s moving this year with his body. He’s clearly different than he was last year.
Prescott said the ankle injury did not cause him to be hesitant to run. He had 48 carries for 146 yards last season. In a full 2019 season, he had 52 carries for 279 yards and three touchdowns. He said he has learned a balance of risk vs. reward.
“And just understanding that some of those are called, why are they called?” Prescott said. “To go get the first down and get that, get some yards and get out of bounds. And just know the importance of everything. The coach isn’t going to call that for me to try to go run people over and stiff arm. smart and understanding that me being available is the best for me.”
Does he anticipate more designed runs this season?
“I expect to have about 20 carries a game,” he joked.
The one downside to the Cowboys’ offseason program so far has been limited work Prescott has had with some of his proven receivers. Michael Gallup is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Free-agent pickup James Washington did not take part in the organized team activities or minicamp as he deals with a leg issue. CeeDee Lamb and Noah Brown have not practiced the past two weeks.
But Prescott said the plan is to get together before the Cowboys start training camp in Oxnard, California, in late July either at his backyard turf field or somewhere else.
“We’ll make sure we get out there a few times and make up that chemistry, get some of those routes, get some of those things we may not feel comfortable on,” Prescott said. “CeeDee’s a guy that we’ve been working. We’ve worked all the way up to this point so he’s not necessarily the one I’m talking about. But James and some of these other guys, we’ll make it a point to get some extra time in.”